Mentoring in Google Code-In and SugarLabs

I am in the middle of my mentoring work at Google Code-In program. GCI is a google sponsored program aimed at encouraging pre-university students to contribute to open source projects. One of these projects is the Sugar OLPC program.

In all fairness I haven’t been as involved as the program as I would have liked to. However GCI was a program that I really wanted to participate.

I was able to volunteer as a mentor and also talk about the tasks the project might bring up to the Google program. Help came from Chris Leonard and Walter Bender for many of the research and documentation program.

My first task there was an issue with a candidate that didn’t quite complete the relation between the guide description and his work. We decided to just ask the user for re-sumbision, the student didn’t come back and instead a new user claim the task which did sumbit a competent guide for the task at hand. That made my first task get succesfully closed.


Another candidate from India claim my other task about updating a lenghty manual for Sugar. After a few hours he had a more fresher look of the manual and was able to have it solved and available with new screeshots and more updated information.


It has been a great satisfaction so far to be involved in this mentoring project and hope I can do this again for the elder version, Google Summer of Code, for University students.

You can see the work these kids did here:

Hope to get more people involved during the project.


Social Network Workshop

Last week I was working with a local school about the topic of social network in education. Is funny since just a few months ago I had an email rejecting the fact of using Facebook in Education, and later on I even heard it from other people how Facebook is just a waste of time.

Of course I know that by that, what he meant is that their students usually use it for crap.

I am a long time user of Facebook and our group, TQVCancun is founded really in this Facebook group.  However, I also acknowledge and see all the crap that is ‘shared’ on facebook and I agree with that waste of time.

That said, is a new day and I think that is important that teachers stop behaving like we are in the 20’s and start for once taking the challenge and moving toward a digital life environment.

It sucks that is 2012, and most peope carry around Blackberries, and the SMS is a thing of the past, and everyone can have internet access cheaply, and even public transportation have wifi. Yet, we still behave in school as if nothing of that had to do with the class. They still using these stupid books, with outdated information and have a very low dynamics.

Funny enough, that was the week iBooks2 was introduced and the coversation about technology finally reaching education was reviewed.

The truth of the matter is that being involved in this education community such as OLPC is something that we really wish we could expand the idea of using computers to teach, not to teach about computers. And to once and for all break the digital barrier with the teachers and work as virtual community with digital presence and digtial awareness.

So lets get this straight, social networks are nothing new, virtual communities are all over the internet and tools exist focus to tackle the deficit of media to increment education. What I found however was interessting a wide range of talents from teachers that knew about the tools, to teachers that were so foreign to them and where basically already on thei way out.

As smart move from my part was giving a final survey to review the course where interesting things came to the surface, such as I lack patience to be a teacher. Which I agree. Thats why they are the teachers and I am the expert. Here is the full report.


Other thing that I notice was the classic posture of blaming the government for not providing. While at the same time, not feeling to go the extra mile to achieve their teaching goals.

But the most disappointing part was the lack of original thought. This information, which was a lot, should have been able to spark some original ideas and share them online, or during the class. I hope they were not just shocked and these ideas and techniques put to use.


Things to thank in 2011

So the last post of the year as I will try to look back on my personal life. My achivements and things that I think are moving for the next year.

  • A whole year living in Cancun, nothing like chilling next to a beautiful beach. 
  • Flying to New York and watching the Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Mobb Deep, Immortal technique etc 
  • Starting the certification for as well as the Internships 
  • Building a new tech community in Cancun with Tequilla Valley 
  • Becoming the technical lead for OLPC Mexico and country manager for FLISOL and Software Freedom Day 
  • Giving some PHD classes on free software

Some goals for new year include:

  • Expand the certification project to the rest of the world 
  • Moving back to Europe 
  • Going to ApacheCon and representing OpenOffice 
  • Consolidating a olpc group in sugar development in Cancun 
  • Push better quality and development community 
  • Finalize the OpenOffice guide and bring it up to par with the english version 
  • Give out a course on free software processes and environment for enterprise 
  • Follow the NBA and see Lebron James live game

Contributing to OLPC Mexico and Free software Forum in Government

Lately I have been getting more and more involved wiht the OLPC movement not just in Mexico but in latin america. The goal is to help to create a more suitable group here in Mexico towards the development of applications for the Sugar environment.

So far we have had a couple of meetups with some of the initial invitees, including the coordinator: Mariana Cortez and a bunch of guys from Social Media Club.

At the moment I have manage to localizae the Developer manual wiki, there still many strings to translate but at least the structure is somewhat complete with localized pages.

The next attempt is to fully translate each page, I hope that more people stand up and help me acomplish this.

On other note, two days ago there was an interesting event about Free Software in the government house. This included the talks of many big free software personalities including Richard Stallman. Some of the topics range from ACTA, DRM, Internet rights, Educational projects and many more topics relevant to stablishing a digital agenda.