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I am a professor in the Information Systems department at San Francisco State University[1]. My Ph.D. dissertation was based on how technology adoption works with individuals and in communities[2]. My work involves teaching and research in Management Information Systems (MIS). I teach courses on “Managing Open Source”[3] and “Media and the Web”[4]. My research revolves around the development and use of Free and Open Source Software. Some of my research has stemmed from collaborative work with the Open Source Initiative[5], and Ubuntu[6]. I also serve on the Board of Directors of the Drupal Association[7], which gives me tremendous insights into how large FOSS projects work both in the community and the enterprise.


My experience with OLPC and Sugar projects are based on a three-pronged approach:

Understanding constructivist, constructionist, instructional and ad-hoc learning models. I look for accommodating for the gap between what may be prescribed, and what can actually be implemented in the field.
Hardware, software, and network combinations that make these projects work in the “middle of nowhere” communities. My professional training comes in handy when working on these technology bits.
Social Context
Understanding social context is the most important of the three approaches. Providing powerful life-changing educational tools to communities is not enough unless we also understand their cultural and social underpinnings.


I have worked with OLPC and Sugar since June 2007. I started off as a volunteer with a OLPC XO-1 from OLPC Headquarters in Cambridge, MA. Next, I put together OLPC San Francisco in January 2008[8]. Since then, we meet every month at San Francisco State University's campus. We have also hosted the annual OLPC San Francisco Community Summit from 2009 to 2015[9].

I started and currently help manage four school projects with OLPC/Sugar in Jamaica[10]. These are managed by the Center of Excellence, University of the West Indies, Mona campus, Jamaica, where I am a founding academic partner[11].

I also started and currently manage a OLPC/Sugar project in Bhagmalpur[12], a small village in north India (my mother's village), where we use a model of “One Laptop per Household”. The youngest child of school-going age becomes the owner. In this project, we bypass the local school completely. There is no traditional teacher. The children have their own ad-hoc learning support structure. They actively learn from each other.

I have worked on several other OLPC/Sugar projects in varying capacities in Madagascar[13], Tuva[14], Pakistan[15], India[16] among others.

My newest project is an effort that began in Jamaica, where we analyzed Sugar Journal data for useful information[17]. We relied on the model from ParaguayEduca[18], and then went on to build our own. I created the architecture for what eventually became XOVis, a visualization system for Sugar Journal data across a classroom, school, or a education district or Ministry[19]. The application was developed by Martin Dluhos[20] and is currently being extended by Andreas Gros[21].

Expected Contribution

Sugar is a technology-heavy project, with deep and lasting implications for its users. I strongly believe that the core purpose of education is to learn to solve problems, and by extension, this applies to Sugar as well. Let's keep our focus on the technology medium, but not lose the education message. I hope to bring my skills and expertise to contribute to the strategic direction of Sugar the project, and its implementations, be it on original XO-1, or on any device anywhere.


  1. San Francisco State University, Sameer Verma, Ph.D., 2017,
  2. Sameer Verma, Diffusion and Adoption of Multicasting: Role of Implicit versus Explicit Communication Initiation Methods, 1999,
  3. San Francisco State University, Managing Open Source, 2005,
  4. San Francisco State University, Multimedia Business Applications Development , 2015,
  5. Open Source Initiative, Report of License Proliferation Committee, 2006,
  6. Alberto Onetti, Marco Talaia, Vincenza Odorici, Manuela Presutti, Sameer Verma, The role of serial entrepreneurs in the internationalization of global start-ups. A business case, ,
  7. Drupal Association, Board of Directors, Drupal Association, 2017,
  8. Sameer Verma, Welcome!, 2008,
  9. OLPC San Francisco, OLPC SF Community Summit Archive, 2009,
  10. Center of Excellence, UWI Mona, OLPC Jamaica, 2008,
  11. Center of Excellence, UWI Mona, OLPC Jamaica, 2008,
  12. Sameer Verma, Anish Mangal, OLPC Bhagmalpur, 2008,
  13. June Kleider, Isabella Kleider, OLPC Deployment Maroantsetra, Madagascar, 2010,
  14. Sameer Verma, Stacey Borsody, OLPC Tuva, 2011,
  15. Giulia D'Amico, A successful Contributors Program project: Rehnuma School in Karachi, 2011,
  16. Salil Konkar, XS Learning with Sameer Verma, 2013,
  17. Sameer Verma, Peering into Journal data, 2013,
  18. Raúl Gutiérrez Segalés, get-journal-stats, 2010,
  19. Sameer Verma, XOVis - Analytics and Visualization for Sugar and OLPC, 2014,
  20. Martin Dluhos, GitHub account for martasd, 2014,
  21. Andreas Gros, GitHub account for Andreas Gros, 2014,