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Paper on Digital learning for Information System course, IS535 at DeVry University.

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  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.0 Definition of the Subject Executive Summary .................................................................................................... 3 2.0 Company Background Mission, Vision and Focus .......................................................................................... 4 Organizational Objectives ........................................................................................... 5-6 Strengths & Challenges................................................................................................ 6-8 3.0 The Business of Digital Learning Digital Business Trends............................................................................................... 9-10 Database Impact ....................................................................................................... 10-12 Database User Requirements..................................................................................... 12-13 4.0 Database Security Security Risks............................................................................................................. 13-14 Information System Requirements............................................................................. 14-15 5.0 Conclusion Recommendations and Analyses Process.................................................................. 16 6.0 Attachments .................................................................................................................. 17-21 Appendix A: Works Cited Appendix B: Schematic 1 – Infrastructure for Digital Education Program with Current XO Specifications Appendix C: PowerPoint Presentation Happner - OLPC Page 2
  3. 3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The magnum opus of Rome was its fantastic libraries which possessed bounties of religious manuscripts and classical literature. It was through giant libraries full of catalogs of written works like these that monks, scholars and a few chosen adolescents could truly learn. Fast forward to today's era and the obtainment of knowledge can come with ease at even a child's fingertips. With the advent of the internet and digital technologies, it is now easier to learn about the world today than in any other Era. Unfortunately, there is a widening educational divide between elementary and college academic levels across the globe. With this noticeably expanding gap, where does that leave our younger students in primary and secondary schools in lesser-organized environments? Where do such communities and education systems stand in relation to the digital divide in contrast to a more "back to basics" learning atmosphere? How can our global communities such advanced technology-oriented learning at an earlier stage? This research paper will cover these mounting questions and more with a general overview of the company, "One Laptop Per Child," (OLPC) and how it is contributing to an increase in digital literacy at the elementary and secondary academic levels. Additionally this paper will also provide a distributed database model for the OLPC organization based on Cloud computing and open-source software in order to allow utilization from all regions of the globe by OLPC tutor volunteers when expanding their digital literacy programs. Happner - OLPC Page 3
  4. 4. COMPANY BACKGROUND MISSION, VISION AND FOCUS Historically, MIT Professor Nicholas Negroponte experienced first-hand how connected laptops transformed the lives of children and their families in a remote Cambodian village (Negroponte 2002). A young seed was then planted in the mind of the aging Professor as he uttered the words: “if every child in the world had access to a computer, what potential could be unlocked? What problems could be solved?" These musings eventually led to the 501(c) charity foundation, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), and the creation of the XO laptop was born. All children need to expand their mental horizons and learn from their environment. How else can they understand the world that they live in? OLPC’s mission is to “provide a means for learning, self-expression, and exploration to the nearly two billion children of the developing world with little or no access to education” (2002). While children are by nature eager for knowledge, many countries have insufficient resources to devote to education—sometimes less than $20 per year per child (compared to an average of $7,500 in the United States). In the words of Negroponte and his core staff, “by giving children their very own connected XO laptop, we are giving them a window to the outside world, access to vast amounts of information, a way to connect with each other, and a springboard into their future.” In essence OLPC is helping these countries develop an essential resource—educated, empowered elementary-school children from the ages of 6 to 12, who can take their ideas and expand their communities starting at the foundation and building up. Happner - OLPC Page 4
  5. 5. ORGANIZATIONAL OBJECTIVES "Most of the nearly two–billion children in the developing world are inadequately educated, or receive no education at all" (Negroponte 2002). Statistically, "one in three children do not complete the fifth grade" leading to a burgeoning underclass that cannot bring financial stimulus to their own intellectually, short sighted communities. That is why OLPC has created the XO laptop to be low-budget, easy to fix and composed of recyclable materials for easy maintenance. Therefore the database created should also be low-maintenance and easy to use. OLPC created five basic principles for the volunteer teams that will be incorporated, as a focal point, into the user-friendly database described herein (Harrington 2009). • Child Ownership – A wireless, mobile laptop can be a portable school of sorts allowing children access to information and cultures never before experienced. Part of the OLPC appeal is that ownership is a basic right, coupled with responsibilities such as protecting, maintaining, and sharing in this atmosphere for creative learning. • Low Ages – the XO laptop was designed for youth ages 6 to 12 and a database system must reflect that the user requirements will be categorized based on this age group when creating an expanded classroom. Each child will have their own digital portfolio that will keep track of their educational progress and ability to read, write, and communicate regardless of most disabilities. Happner - OLPC Page 5
  6. 6. • Saturation – digital saturation implies a commitment to the maintenance and expansion of these XO laptops, so an expanded database must include specific fields for OLPC networks and their constituents. • Connection – the XO laptop was designed to be wireless and to incorporate an “expanded classroom” approach. It is powered by a battery that is easily stored in the front of the classroom or a nearby educational center. The laptop can be charged by solar or mechanical power and can be used outdoors under the sun with special LED screens. Wireless connectivity will piggyback off of satellite systems that will ensure a global OLPC network that is accessible in any community almost anywhere. • Free and Open Source – all children are learners and teachers. Therefore the database should be flexible enough for students to access and update their own personal website via an OLPC registration, which can be accessible as a resource database based on requirements by the user. STRENGTHS AND CHALLENGES When children are denied the right to a proper public government education, they lose the treasure that a love for learning provides. Pair this treasure, with an unlimited resource, like digital education, and any government-run society has a plethora of natural wealth in its hands--a steady foundation created by its own people. The OLPC program tries to encourage such learning. The need for a thorough database and network system is "high" as the OLPC program has been executed in various countries such as the catastrophe-ridden Haiti, South Africa, Uganda, and Nigeria. This Summer 2010, OLPC tutors will travel to Rwanda, Paraguay, Happner - OLPC Page 6
  7. 7. Nicaragua and Peru with more privately funded donations and XO laptops (Fidelis 2009). As of December 2009, the XO laptop has been taken seriously as governments, such as Uruguay for example, invest in computers for each and every one of their school children after learning that OLPC has "distributed to more than 1.4 million children in over 35 countries worldwide." The CEO of OLPC Europe, Walter de Brouwer, notes that the growing popularity of the XO digital learning program has been taken with a certain spreading fire. He said governments could pay this back over a number of years, allowing pupils to "have a laptop for less than one euro per month.... I'm talking to three of four countries in the EU at the moment," he told BBC news, "once one says yes, the others can't say no" (2009). When analyzing the key strengths and challenges of OLPC's organizational structure and execution of the digital education program, the following areas were identified: TABLE 1: KEY DATABASE STRENGTHS HUMAN RESOURCES - The XO digital learning program has a wide volunteer IT support network, which will power the development of a Global Database Management System. FACILITATION of COMMUNICATION & COLLABORATION - the XO database system will integrate all data and information received from each OLPC village program for future events and follow-up trips. REDESIGN GLOBAL STRATEGY - the XO database will allow OLPC users to upload all conclusive program notes and help the executive level managers determine which countries are easier to infiltrate. IDENTIFY BEST PRACTICES - the XO database will help OLPC travel coordinators and program tutors which subject courses, additional equipment and future program alternatives should be implemented. INCREASE QUALITY - the XO database will house the most current information on the OLPC product usage and inventory what items are still to be had. Upgrades to each government OLPC program can be monitored via the database, accessible by OLPC tutors and project volunteers. COORDINATING DIGITAL EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT - the XO database will help OLPC tutors frame together a current and future program outline for each continental region needing OLPC systems. Happner - OLPC Page 7
  8. 8. TABLE 2: KEY DATABASE CHALLANGES UNCOMMON ELEMENTS - for each OLPC educational region, various provincial languages will need to be documented and used depending on the children participating. UNCOORDINATED IT UPGRADES - for each OLPC region, the database must be accessed independently from each continental region, but collaborated globally so each OLPC region will have current data. CYBER TERRORISM - such as hacking, pharming, phishing, evil twins and unguarded cloud systems UNKNOWN DIGITAL REGULATIONS - will have to be handled on an individual case-by-case basis to protect each OLPC network. In terms of land lines and accessibility, obtaining a wireless network all depends on where a school exists. The growth of less developed regions is improving as can be seen below in Graph 1, where bandwidth growth is noted per global region. GRAPH 1: BANDWIDTH GROWTH BY CONTINENTAL REGION Happner - OLPC Page 8
  9. 9. THE BUSINESS OF DIGITAL LEARNING DIGITAL BUSINESS TRENDS With more people having access to the internet, online learning is becoming more and more popular. Online discussions that span across the globe, aside from traditional community classroom-type scenarios are becoming more mainstream (Hamilton & Cherniavsky, 2006). Electronic communications is now a present-day vital aspect of learning and is available in the forms of digital blackboard, online forums, web articles and online encyclopedias to name a few. In the charity organization One Laptop Per Child, the need for providing such educational opportunities to out-of-way communities in third-world countries is a vital goal to its inception. The following diagram below shows the management process and geographic location analysis in the form of Accessibility Maps depicting cable lines for internet access showing the user and Happner - OLPC Page 9
  10. 10. development executive what networking systems are in place, for example in the Caribbean Region of Haiti. Results of early learning studies support that online literature discussions have great potential for fostering literacy skills, strengthening communication and building a sense of community in children across the globe (Carico, Logan & Labo 2004; Grisham & Wolsey, 2006; Wolsey, 2004). DATABASE IMPACT How OLPC plans to accomplish this outpouring of web-based literacy is by deploying a variety of self-paid tutors across the globe to far-off provinces. Volunteers are all responsible for food expenses, accommodations, travel, visas, visas and health insurance. Yet, despite this low- cost approach to the OLPC organization, the recording of which volunteers have the training ability to reconstruct platforms, conduct large en-masse multi-education efforts needs to be cataloged, as these volunteers are OLPC veterans after a first-tour. Therefore in order to impact a new program effectively a database system has to be reconstructed globally to take into consideration the international tone of the organization as a whole. Each new intern has a variety of experience and language training, local connections and teaching strategies that may have to be re-utilized for future OLPC “tours.” For a general for- profit company a typical database would need a schematic that will take into account event types, community “schools,” subject levels for ages 6 through 12, volunteer members (tutors), projects, workshops and local community outreach or “conferences.” Happner - OLPC Page 10
  11. 11. User requirements include logging in workshop and community events by OLPC volunteers that may be updated into a cloud system that is accessible anywhere on any XO laptop with Administration access. The XO laptops are designed per specific provinces due to language differences as well as regions like Haiti, South Africa and the Dominican Republic. These PC's are designed to be water-resistance, battery and solar-powered, and damage resistant (se Appendix A for spec details). The basic framework of the OLPC network can be seen below in Figure 1, which has been simplified for digital education programs: FIGURE 1: BASIC SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS The OLPC user database systems must be streamlined and incorporate the three main facets of the OLPC organization (Organization, Management, Technology, and Information Systems) and its charity technology. Happner - OLPC Page 11
  12. 12. FIGURE 2: ORGANIZATION FOCUS AND CONCERNS FOR OLPC [1] Organization: will be categorized as the region of concern for each OLPC program based on continental region. [2] Technology: XO laptops and database management under a cloud computing atmosphere. [3] Management: OLPC requires database management for volunteers logging in events, coursework and student progress in order to design global strategies for expansion programs and identifying best practices [4] Information Systems: will be limited to facilitating decision making, communication and collaboration DATABASE USER RQUIREMENTS The three main areas of database creation are focused on community organizations, digital wireless technology and classroom management. Using tri-IS diagram, OLPC can breakdown their user requirements into the following Information Systems notations as exhibited in Appendix D, and outlined in Table 1 below. TABLE 1: TABLE OF DATABASE USER REQUIREMENTS will be categorized as the region of concern for each OLPC program based on continental region. ORGANIZATION XO laptops and database management under Wi-Fi, SATELLITE internet and a cloud computing software and hardware capabilities. TECHNOLOGY Happner - OLPC Page 12
  13. 13. OLPC requires database management for volunteers logging in events, coursework and student progress in order to design global strategies for MANAGEMENT expansion programs and identifying best practices INFORMATION SYSTEMS will be limited to facilitating decision making, communication and collaboration SECURITY RISKS The OLPC laptop may be seen as a disruptive technology as the village children of a poor province will demand and exalt sweeping changes to their little community, yet the overall aspect of digital education may bring commerce and new business ideas to their area. When creating a database for a global program, the bottom line is security. In order to analyze how much of a threat the OLPC program will experience while using a cloud computing for hardware and software capabilities, one must find answers to the following questions: Are there Regional Laws governing the privacy of the data? Could the data be used as a basis for Identity Theft? May the information gathered compromise the organization's community position if disclosed? Laws govern each region that OLPC infiltrates differently; therefore OLPC mangers will need to notify their users of the predominating rules and regulations for digital education requirements. Areas where regional digital computing laws are not specified will be maintained under the continental specs of the largest government or neighboring country. Depending on the Happner - OLPC Page 13
  14. 14. continental region, OLPC will need to establish controls and security systems for Wi-Fi and internet networks. The XO computers will be consistently connected to the internet which can open up many possibilities for hacker access. Cyber-terrorism causes many concerns overall as malware and phishing probes are borderless terrors. Identity theft is also a huge issue as XO computers will give children and adolescents a portfolio to create and learn from as their digital education progresses. Evil twins and pharming have to be prevented as these could be the largest source procurement for pure identity theft. For database insurance for all OLPC users input controls, processing controls and output controls must be implemented. INFORMATION SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS OLPC recently said that "the organization would just focus on promoting its concepts and educational aims, rather than manufacturing laptops. With that said, a fairly direct database for information gathering and disbursement is needed based on OLPC volunteers and tutors requirements. The classic method for designing an information system (IS) is developed under a basic "structured design life cycle" based on a multi-tiered system as drawn in Figure 3 below. Happner - OLPC Page 14
  15. 15. FIGURE 3: OLPC DATABASE REQUIREMENTS (created in Autocad) This database assessment works best where it is possible to specify requirements before the system is development, mainly because the user needs are well-known and center around digital education with emphasis on coursework, projects, workshops and school communities and their participants. With that said a basic infrastructure must be set in place to carry out the OLPC database collection process. With the correct infrastructure in place using a cloud server as the region has intense traffic due to the local business activity, for Haiti Region (design system seen in Appendix B) the ease of wireless digital education is quite plausible. Happner - OLPC Page 15
  16. 16. CONCLUSION In conclusion, one caveat when creating an IS is that even the best, well-designed database system will be useless if the users do not accept it. In order to manage the Database Change for OLPC information systems, the following model called ADKAR, will be considered in this paper for identifying needs of the User Requirements (Harrington 2009). TABLE 2: OLPC PROGRAM - DATABASE USER MANAGEMENT A | AWARENESS. This assessment clarifier will make the users (OLPC tutors) aware of why there must be a change. D | DESIRE. This clarifier will involve and educate users so that they are motivated to be a part of the database change process. K | KNOWLEDGE. The education of the users (OLPC tutors) and system development personnel must be taught so that they understand the process of database change. A | ABILITY. The insurance that the OLPC users and IT development team need to have the technical capabilities to setup the network systems for the XO laptops in each remote location and could include training of the IT and OLPC staff volunteers in using the new database and cloud technologies. R | REINFORCEMENT. Continued follow-up after the OLPC database system is complete must be part of the system design to ensure that the OLPC educational system is being maintained, updated and used as intended. Therefore when determining the organizational data management needs of OLPC, those developers in charge of implementing the change in the system must be very sensitive to how the OLPC tutors react to modifications of an established system, or the implementation of a new one. Happner - OLPC Page 16
  17. 17. APPENDIX A WORKS CITED Barlas, Demir. (2005) The Portal and Composite Apps. 11 August 2005. Portals Magazine. Retrieved on 15 Jan. 2010 from Site: Fildes, Jonathan. (2009) BBC News, Technology Online. 23 December 2009. OLPC unveils slimline tablet PC. Retrieved on 05 Jan. 2010 from Site: Grisham, D.L. & Wosley, T.D. (2006). Recentering the middle school classroom as a vibrant learning community: Students, literacy and technology intersect. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, pp. 648-660. Hamilton, E.R. & Cherniavsky, J. (2006) Issues in synchronous versus a-synchronous in e- learning platforms. Web-based learning: Theory, research and practice (pp. 87-105). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Harrington, Jan L. (2009) Relational Database Design and Implementation, 3rd Edition. Morgan Kaufman Publishers. p. 26-83. Koblentz, Evan (2010). One Laptop Per Child May Influence Enterprise Computing. 8 January 2010. Mobilizing Biz Apps. Retrieved on Feb. 03, 2010 at Site : Larson, Lotta C. (2009) The Reading Teacher, Vol. 62, No. 8: "Reader Response Meets New Literacies: Empowering Readers in Online Learning Communities." International Reading Association. Retrieved on Jan 04, 2010. Negroponte, Nicholas. (2002) One Laptop Per Child: Five Principles. Updated 4 December 2009. Retrieved from Wolsey, T.D. (2004) Literature discussions in cyberspace: Young adolescents using threaded discussion groups to talk about reading. Reading Online. Retrieved Jan. 6, 2010 from Happner - OLPC Page 17
  18. 18. Appendix B SCHEMATIC 1: INFRASTRUCTURE for OLPC DIGITAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS (Haiti) (CURRENT) XO SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS Physical dimensions Approximate dimensions: 242mm×228mm×32mm; Approximate weight: 1.45KG with LiFeP battery; 1.58KG with NiMH battery; Configuration: Convertible laptop with pivoting, reversible display; dirt- and moisture-resistant system enclosure; no fan. External connectors DC power: 6mm (1.65mm center pin) connector; 11 to 18 V input usable, –32 to 40 V input tolerated; power draw limited to 15 W; Headphone output: Standard 3.5mm 3-pin switched stereo audio jack; Microphone input: Standard 3.5mm 2-pin switched mono microphone jack; selectable 2V DC bias; selectable sensor-input mode (DC or AC coupled); USB: Three Type-A USB-2.0 connectors; up to 1A power supplied (total); Flash expansion: MMC/SD Card slot. Battery Pack type: 2 or 4 cells LiFePO4; or 5 cells NiMH, approximately 6V series configuration; Happner - OLPC Page 18
  19. 19. Capacity: 22.8 Watt-hours (LiFePO4); 16.5 Watt-hours (NiMH); Fully-enclosed “hard” case; user removable; Electronics integrated with pack provide: Identification; Battery charge and capacity information; Thermal and over-current sensors along with cutoff switch to protect battery; Minimum 2,000 charge/discharge cycles (to 50% capacity of new); Power management will be critical. BIOS/loader Open Firmware used to load the operating system. Environmental specifications Temperature: UL certification planned to 45C [as of Q32007], pending 50C certification in mid-2008; Humidity: UL certification planned to IP42 (perhaps higher) when closed, the unit should seal well enough that children walking to and from school need not fear rainstorms and dust; Maximum altitude: –15m to 3048m (14.7 to 10.1 PSIA) (operating), –15m to 12192m (14.7 to 4.4 PSIA) (non- operating); Shock 125g, 2ms, half-sine (operating) 200g, 2ms, half-sine (non-operating); Random vibration: 0.75g zero-to-peak, 10Hz to 500Hz, 0.25 oct/min sweep rate (operating); 1.5g zero-to-peak, 10Hz to 500Hz, 0.5 oct/min sweep rate (non-operating); 2mm plastic walls (1.3mm is typical for most systems). Regulatory requirements The usual US and EU EMI/EMC (Electromagnetic Interference and Compatibility) requirements will be met; The laptop meets IEC 60950-1, EN 60950-1, and CSA/UL 60950-1 specifications. It also complies with UL 1310 and UL 498. In order to guarantee the safety of children using the laptop, it also passes ASTM F 963; The external power adapter complies with IEC, EN, and CSA/UL 60950-1; The removable battery pack complies with IEC, EN, and CSA/UL 60950-1 and UL 2054; RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive – EU) compliant. SOURCE: OLPC Online, Software Specifications Sheet. ( Happner - OLPC Page 19
  20. 20. Appendix C POWER POINT PRESENTATION (Completed on: February 15, 2010) Happner - OLPC Page 20
  21. 21. Appendix C, con't. POWER POINT PRESENTATION, con't. (Completed on: February 15, 2010) Happner - OLPC Page 21