2010 DML proposal

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This is for http://dmlcompetition.net.

Anywhere, anytime learning for children with Sugar on a Stick


Sugar is...

...a hardware-agnostic learning platform designed for children.
...used by more than 1500000 learners: Peru, Rwanda, Nepal, the USA, and 50 other countries.
...Free Software.
...learning through rich-media expression, collaboration, and reflection.

Our objective is refining and distributing Sugar-on-a-Stick USB devices to give learners and educators everywhere access to the Sugar Learning Platform.


Sugar is a graphical user interface and a growing collection of software applications—Activities—that give children a rich environment for learning. Sugar combines three attributes that make it unique: simplicity, collaboration, and reflection.

The Sugar interface is simple, setting aside the "office-desktop" metaphor ill-suited for children. Its “low floor” offers a starting-point for children as young as three. Yet it imposes “no ceiling” on what learners can achieve: children can reach to complex ideas using Sugar's simplicity as their catalyst for growth.

The heart of Sugar is its Activities, including E-book readers, writing tools, fun games with colors, sounds, music and math, geography, a talking face, building-block-based programming languages, and dozens of others. Children love to explore and to express themselves in the Sugar environment.

Sugar has collaboration built-in, making it very easy for children and teachers to work together on projects, to share ideas, and to engage in critical dialogs.

Sugar maintains a Journal, a portfolio of everything a child does; it is a record of both what learners made and how they made them. The child, classroom teacher, or parent can reflect upon and assess progress. Children don't have to worry about finding documents; everything is in the Journal.

With Sugar-on-a-Stick, each learner has a bootable USB-device, ensuring access to Sugar in their homes, school, library, and community. Any PC, Mac, or netbook becomes a child's own "Sugar computer" with a continuity of software, collaborative connections to their peers, and work in progress. The existing installation on the host computer is not touched.

We propose:

  1. To make Sugar-on-a-Stick available in sufficient quantities to enable running pilots and for distributing Sugar to educators;
  2. To promote Sugar-on-a-Stick while continuing to focus efforts on development, maintenance, support, and deployment;
  3. To develop a teacher-training program to complement Sugar-on-a-Stick distributions.

For more information, please visit www.sugarlabs.org.

Collaborator #1. Name, Institution Sebastian Dziallas, Fedora
Collaborator #2. Name, Institution Simon Schampijer, Sugar Labs
Collaborator #3. Name, Institution Tomeu Vizoso, Sugar Labs
Collaborator #4. Name, Institution Bernardo Innocenti, Free Software Foundation
Collaborator #5. Name, Institution Mel Chua, Fedora/Red Hat
Collaborator #6. Name, Institution Rafael Ortiz, Sugar Labs