[Discussion] workflow of support

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at gmail.com
Fri Aug 12 15:24:40 PDT 2011


Thanks for your email, Sameer.  I think that your thoughts are really
encouraging!  We have been wanting to get more volunteers for some time!

On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 12:53 PM, Sameer Verma <sverma at sfsu.edu> wrote:

> First, in talking with Christian and Grant about supporting work at
> CACS and Everrett I've gathered a few things:
> We have two or three support models: 1) Grant goes by Everrett every
> Wednesday or so and keeps an eye on things. 2) Christian keeps an eye
> on KIPP and CACS. They call him when something breaks. 3) Grant goes
> by CACS occasionally, talks to teachers, and finds out what's broken.

This is not entirely correct.  James Howard is our server architect.  He has
created a really super clever server package that allows us to do mass
installs over the network and a whole bunch of other stuff that I think you
would really enjoy seeing.  I recommend that you try to arrange time with
him to pick his brain about his work for Partimus, because you might be able
to duplicate it elsewhere.  He provides guidance many of the most complex
issues pertaining to the server.  Elizabeth Krumbach is also an experienced
sys admin to whom we look for answers to complex issues  There are also lots
of contributions by other volunteers.  What you have outlined above is only
a picture of the initial layer of contact between those two schools and our
Partimus volunteers in terms of identifying the issues.

> If projects have to grow and maintain momentum, there needs to be a
> better workflow (in my opinion) for support.

I agree.

> Next, there is the issue of teachers and children learning newer media
> and edu tools on an ongoing basis, which requires training, workshops,
> etc.

Yes, we could really improve our services by doing better social outreach.
 James, Grant, Elizabeth, and our other gurus do a great job of creating
powerful solutions, but we could improve on engaging with the end users,
that is certainly true.

> I run the internship program at SF State in Information Systems. What
> I have in mind is to see if I can assign one or two interns in the
> Fall to Partimus, and get them to work on gathering data, and mapping
> workflow both on the teacher/student side and on the volunteers side.

That would be great!  Please do be sure to engage with our core gurus
(James, Grant, Elizabeth) in shaping systems.

> They will be assigned to Partimus, to work on CACS as a starter. I'd
> prefer it if the interns worked via Partimus so that the outcome of
> their internship can be applied to other schools as well. They'll
> interview, observe, analyze and then we can figure out what's needed
> - a ticketing system, inventory mgmt, etc.

Our gurus have been talking about improving those systems for some time.

> As for workshops for media and edu tools, we may be able to host some
> of it at SF State through a new project called "The Commons
> Initiative" but I'll work on that later in the Fall. Some of this will
> intersect with what I am gathering from my OLPC projects in India,
> Jamaica and Madagascar, but more on that later.

Thanks for those thoughts!

> Ideas? suggestions?

I would like to see about having a meeting some Sunday soon to discuss this.
 Would that work for you all?  I think a face-to-face meeting would be a
great way for us all to have some input.  Thanks for your thoughts, Sameer!
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