Developer Roadshows/Events/wa/Tracks/Navigation Scheme

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Challenge: build on this.

Track: Navigation Scheme for Education out of the box

List of group members
  • Rokhaya Ndiour (technical lead and rapporteur)
  • Micheal
  • Toure
  • Gertrude
  • Maura
  • Kim Tucker (co-facilitator)
  • Rita
  • Sahr Gborie
  • Squire Samuel
  • Hillar Addo (co-facilitator)


The navigation track sought to build a new navigation scheme for Education out of the Box [a collection of CDs for use in educational settings where there is little or no bandwidth] and started with an exploration of possible tools and content suggested at the first roadshow in South Africa and extended at Africa Source 2 in January this year. Some educators explored relevant software which included in Edubuntu and OpenLab, while the rest designed a structured navigation scheme for the content deemed most suitable for the collection. The track produced a prototype navigation scheme for educators at primary, secondary and tertiary level, for end users of productivity software, for GNU/Linux users/administrators, and for developers. The idea is to be able to hand out a set of CDs with usable educational free/libre and open source software and content, and tools for relevant communities to be able to develop these further.

Background to the Document

This document summarises the Education out of the Box Navigation Track. Here we present some background to Education out of the Box.

What is Education out of the Box?

A set of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) and tools to support ICT education delivery across Africa. The box set is most useful for situations with limited or no bandwidth.

Why Education out of the Box?

  • To enable teachers and learners derive optimum benefit from ICT in education across the African continent.
  • Unavailability of educational software and tools in Schools across Africa.
  • Excessive cost leading to the unavailability of the Internet in many African schools communities.
  • The emergence and popularity of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) in the public and business sector across Africa.
  • The opportunity of adapting, localizing and creating new software for education and knowledge development in Africa.

The Goals of Education out of the Box are to:

  • Provide Software/Productivity Tools.
  • Provide Pedagogical Guidelines (as a service from distributors and partners).
  • Address specific subjects: How does the Mathematics, science, technology or geography teacher use it?.
  • Provide an e-Learning development paradigm.
  • Develop documentary guides and training manuals for teachers and users.
  • Develop Policy Guidelines for education managers.
  • Glossary - clarifying the jargon.

Target Audiences

  • Teachers/Educators.
  • Learners: Age ranges under 12/ 13-18/ adult.
  • Technical Support Teams/analysts.
  • Universities/Teacher training Institutions.
  • Decision Makers/Administrators/education departments.
  • Parents.

The ultimate plan is to have a web site at which people may design custom box sets and have them sent if download is not an option.

Goals and motivation for the goals

A key criticism of Education out of the Box 0.01 related to the user interface and navigation to resources. There was too much text and hard for the average user to find things of interest.

The goal of this track was to improve this situation and design a better scheme, possibly catering for different types of users.

Planning and Implementation of group activities

Ideally, there should have been some pre-event work with participants designing alternative schemes to be evaluated and improved at the event. No designs were forthcoming, and few participants had had time to assess the first version (0.01). So, we started from scratch and planned Day 2 to permit participants to familiarise themselves with version 0.01 and surf for potential new components. Day 3 was spent exploring Edubuntu and OpenLab, while some participants designed a new structure with different users in mind, Day 4 consisted of implementation of this scheme, and Day 5 for report back.

Evaluation of the work done

The following resources drew attention among the educators present:

  • Wikipedia for tuXlabs
  • Potato Guy (making faces from fruit and vegetables) for young children
  • Hangman (word game)
  • Periodic Table
  • KBruch - learning fractions

Additional resources of interest on Edubuntu include:

  • GCompris - a collection of activities for young children (3 - 6 years old) introducing basic computer use, arithmetic, reading activities, etc.
  • Tux4kids - e.g. TuxPaint, TuxMaths and TuxType.
  • School Calendar - SchoolTool

The navigation scheme was a simple frameset with links for primary, secondary and tertiary level educators. The mind map below, built with Freemind (, illustrates the structure.

Suggested Future Content
General: distros and FLOSS links Open Courseware etc.
More Suggested Future Content
Learning Management Systems, LORs, Tools, etc. Content Management Systems

Library systems, archiving, etc.


The figures below show some of the pages illustrating the navigation scheme.


The following steps are recommended for anyone intending to take this further:

  1. Populate the navigation scheme with appropriate text and images.
  2. Develop a set of Getting Started Tutorials for key components (e.g. eXe and Kewl)
  3. Download the software and Assemble the CDs for duplication.
  4. Partner organisations distributing hardware in schools (etc.) to distribute the CDs to appropriate audiences.
  5. Develop a community web site to enable custom box sets by mail or download.
  6. Facilitate the growth of this community continually.

References and source code

The html for the navigation scheme may be downloaded here.

Some background to Education out of the Box is available here:

If you intend to revive this project, start by updating FLOSS4Edu's Tools etc. which includes most of the resources mentioned above.