Category Archives: LTSP

Feedback wanted on the activity oriented approach in Bijra project

Now, the students and teachers alike are increasingly and critically using FOSS elements/softwares as an aide or learning tools at our LTSP powerhouse in Bijra. Specifically, KDE Edutainment package, project gutenburg etc. are practical examples of such aides. The students use KBruch to do mental maths, KGeography to brush up their geography and simultaneously these made the teachers’ life lot easier.

But there is a problem. There are **no** maps of India in the kgeography, let apart the state & city maps. Now, in simple terms, a techie geek in general needs no geography but the students need to learn the same. So a typical solution would be a geeky write-up how to add maps adapted from the KGeography Handbook for their aid. Initially, I even made such an attempt: Insight into KGeography. As Indranil Dasgupta posted, “It was fairly good! And it was also just plain WRONG! If we wanted the experiment to get the geography and history and language and science teachers to collaborate, really scale, then we needed to speak in THEIR terms, and NOT speak __to__ them in our language.”

So following the pedagogy in OLPC which housed a collaborative activity-oriented approach, we tried an “activity oriented approach“. So, instead of talking tech to a geography teacher regarding XML layouts and all, we can actually discuss with them in terms of drawing maps, colouring them, adding them and creating questions and interactive activities around the maps with which they are already familiar with. Well, in this case I re-made the entire stuff and ended up with a sort of draft presentation “Lets’ add the map of India in KGeography“.

The whole idea is to present the tech thingy in a more structured, focussed and digestable format to get the much needed things done. Thus this activity oriented approach has double advantages, the students not only gets to learn much more about their subjects using FOSS elements but also gets to know the technical aspects. Also ultimately in this way we get a far bigger community todo more n’ more stuffs!!

Feedback wanted on the activity oriented approach in Bijra Project

So please put up your comments, suggestions for improvements regarding
this and brickbats if any :)

Photo set: Bijra High School Project

Waag.ORG

Yesterday members of Waag Society and AID India (as well as its’ USA chapter) came down with Indranil Dasgupta at Bijra High School to have a look at LTSP implmentation over there.

Fout of them!

Cross Link Posts: A city kid’s reaction to OLPC XO and other stories

Anyways, what really interested me is waag.org. Based at Netherlands, ‘Waag Society’- mission was to make new media available for groups of people that have little access to computers and internet, thus increasing their quality of living. Over years it grew as a society to provide technology to social and cultural needs of the people.

What’s the difference? Difference lies in the form factor of the products/projects delivered, their creativity and utility. CREATIVITY is what I liked most…have a look at their website:

waag.org projects page

Well some of the interesting projects they are working on are Scottie, FRUX, Mobile Math, You and your nieghbourhood etc.

Problem with ltspinfo!!

Lately I was trying to create a shutdown/reboot module for Fl_TeacherTool. I recently talked with its developer Robert Arkiletian and realised that “ltspinfo” can be accessed by non-root users even. The shutdown/reboot module is a cool feature for fl_teachertool but would create a problem if non-root users gain access and shutdown terminals at their will. But this problem has to solved. So, I am analyzing the code of ltsp-ltspinfod and may make changes in it as required to curb this problem.

Shutdown module in Fl_TeacherTool

In the recent implementation of LTSP for Bijra School Project (in the ambience of WBUT LIbrary) we have used Fl_TeacherTool for global control over all the terminals. Now I found that in Fl_TeacherTool we can do everything except Shudown/Reboot the terminals. These two things we have to run from command line using #ltspinfo (ltspinfo) which is a module that comes with the LTSP iso. But for people over there in the school (even for the teachers over there) it is a difficult job to run ltspinfo from shell. So i thought of designing a good UI for this and integrate it with the Fl_TeacherTool. I am writing down a shutdown module for Fl_TeacherTool in Qt. The core thing is that I will insert a Shutdown/Reboot button in Fl_TeacherTool and that in turn will open a GUI. A screenshot is given as follows:

Shutdown Module!!

This is just the basic structure of the module. Now, I will work on the following things:

  1. Replace the text box based input with a dropdown menu in which we can select one out of the currently logged in terminals. But, this will be done only after the text box-based one works fine.
  2. Add Shutdown/Reboot button in Fl_TeacherTool. The dialog can work independently quite well. But its integration with Fl_TeacherTool needs lots of work.
  3. Link all the events properly.
  4. Also work on the look and feel of the GUI.

Last but not the least, I chose Qt for this because it can do cross-platform jobs efficiently.

LTSP Training @ WBUT

It was great pleasure to take part in the LTSP training at WBUT under the able guidance of Indranil Das Gupta (CTA, L2C2 Technologies) and Prof. A. R. Thakur (VC, WBUT). I actually went to Kolkata to do summer training on Java. And it turned out to be a boon. I have been using Linux (Fedora) for past 2 years. But still i had a wish to learn all the internals of Linux as well as the FOSS world properly.

Now, my local LUG, dgplug is supporting a Bijra School Project. To give it an introduction, it is an attempt to teach school kids desktop level usage of Linux in a localized manner. The entire teaching is done in Bengali. The main problem over here is lack of resource.

So in order to support this, ilug-cal and WBUT helped us a lot in this venture (provided us one LTSP server and four terminals). Anyways, we started out setting up LTSP in this client-server model. For me, the beginning was quite…don’t know how to descibe. I was standing in front of WBUT when i first physically met Indra da. I was a bit shaky but still introduced myself. After that things started get going. We worked continuously for 21 days. We worked even on Sundays averaging around 8 o’clock in the evening. It was really interesting as well as fun. Also it was sometimes full of brick-bats whenever we did anything wrong ;) .

All of us at WBUT....and our setup!!

What I learnt? I dont want to talk literature over here…But i thing i must tell that i didn’t knew when i was addicted to Linux. Indra da gave lots of inspiration & motivation. I came to know how works are carried out in Linux world. And the exit interviews were great. My friends namely Swagnik and Subhodip were also fine. I am currently seriously working on python and shell scripting.

Last of all, we had food, fun & frolic togather. Sometimes we went nuts. We were the first batch of the Nije Sikhi initiative. Awesome beginning…

See more photos: Flickr Set

Must see posts: If you want to have tea… just say so