[TOS] Our next meeting

David Farning dfarning at sugarlabs.org
Sun Sep 20 04:54:35 UTC 2009

2009/9/19 Karsten Wade <kwade at redhat.com>:
> On Sat, Sep 19, 2009 at 07:39:32PM -0500, David Farning wrote:
>> Any chance you can record some to the GSoC mentor talks?
> My recollection of the past is that Google is careful about
> photography/videography.  The Mentor Summit is right in a main
> building and conference space.  If Google itself did the video, they
> could be careful to not capture $secret_stuff.  However, it's an
> unknown number of sessions, and how do you know which are the best
> ones to do?
> Another oddity is that in a room like that, people forget there is
> video (or, worse, notice), and that changes how they interacts with
> each other.  In some of the sessions, people want to speak freely to
> other mentors about their students, in a way that maybe we don't want
> on public video. ;-D
>>  I am
>> expecting to spend about 50% of my time over the next six months
>> working on how to effectively engage students in open source projects.
> Good news.
>> And more importantly it involves establishing trust between:
>> Class Instructor ->  Open Source Project = Instructor must trust that
>> there student will have a valuable experence
>> Open Source Project -> class Intructor = Project must trust that the
>> time invested in the class will be worth it.
>> Mentor -> Student =  Mentor must trust that their time and effort
>> invested in the student will be worth it.
>> Student -> Mentor = Student must trust the mentor is useful and has
>> reasonable expectations.
>> I am not sure how to solve this, but I think is worth trying:)
> That is interesting.  There are obviously some situations that have
> worked out well, but the ones actually involving that three-way are
> fewer.  GSoC brought a big student <=> project connection.  I think
> both parties are looking for instructor involvement to help solve some
> common sticky spots.  Also, a full instructional term length is longer
> than a summer session, but isn't as fully engaged.  GSoC expects 40
> hours per week, while a regular class shouldn't demand that much,
> right?
> - Karsten

We are testing several scenarios.
Work study students ranging from university freshmen to Graduates
students.  These generally work with a specific pilot deployment on a
particular issue.  These deployments usually have a very activate
community member on site.  But because of the on site 'supervisor' the
students don't become particularly involved in the larger community.
Some of the younger students have trouble staying on focus.

Unpaid and paid high school interns.  These students tend to work as
part of a local lab under a teacher/advisor direct supervision.  The
advisor are not always active in the community.  The quality of these
experiences has been directly related to the effort and skill of the
advisor.  The good advisor quickly engaged the student into the
community while providing results and learning focused local guidance.

Several GSoC students.  I think a lot of the credit here goes to a
great program coordinator at our end combined with a well run GSoC
program.  It didn't hurt that several of the GSoC were active
contributors who got paid to work full time on something they would
have tried to fit into their spare time:)

Students in the olpc class at RIT and RIT co-op students.
One of the big lessons learned was the value of a local tech support
person.  In a young project like olpc or Sugar Labs we have a lot of
quirks.  If you have seen them once they can be pretty easy to work
around. (in hind sight)  But, the first time you see them you can
spend a lot of time scratching your head.

Our biggest problem was our community mentor-ship.  We did a very poor
job engaging the instructors, local community facilitators, and
students into the community.  As a result, we had more confusion then
we should have had.  Having gone though one iteration of the course, I
think things will go smoother this session.


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