After meeting Ferdie, a volunteer in Mindoro, Philippines, I started thinking about wanting to help him clone himself. Deployments need local technical expertise, and many of the skills required by an OLPC deployment may not be included in a typical IT curriculum. Here in the Philippines, there seems to be a Microsoft bias, compared for example with the nationwide commitment to Linux in South Africa.
Whatever training materials I develop may have limited application, because much of the world does not speak english. But I can make a start, and provide a model for other language speakers.
So my current idea is to develop a family of online quizzes, with immediate feedback and explanation when the student gives a wrong answer. Behind each of the quizzes, there should be a tutorial which explains in depth the basic concepts that the quiz evaluates.
My job, then, is to develop a list of the basic skills and understandings which will permit a technician to become productive in supporting OLPC deployments.
- Basic Electricity — Ohms law, concepts of Power, AC and DC circuits. For this I like http://openbookproject.net//electricCircuits/DC/DC_1.html
- Batteries, solar panels, UPS, power for the brownout prone developing country
- Hardware skills
- Linux — basic file system layout, status queries, 20 commands, man pages
- Start up process in linux
- Basic concepts in networking