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The Sugar Philosophy

Information is about nouns. Learning is about verbs. The Sugar user interface differs from traditional user interfaces in that it is based on both cognitive and social constructivism. We believe that learners should engage in exploration and collaboration. The Sugar platform is based on three defining human principles. These are the pillars of user experience for learning:

  • Everyone is a teacher and a learner.
  • Humans are social beings.
  • Humans are expressive.

The Sugar Platform


Two principles define the Sugar platform:

  • You learn through doing, so if you want to learn more, you want to do more.
  • Love is a better master than duty — you want people to engage in things that are authentic to them, things that they love. Internal motivation almost always trumps external motivations.


Three experiences characterize the Sugar platform:

  • Sharing: The Sugar interface always shows the presence of other learners. Collaboration is a first-order experience. Students and teachers dialog with each other, support each other, critique each other, and share ideas.
  • Reflecting: Sugar uses a "Journal" to record each learner's activity. The Journal serves as a place for reflection and assessment of progress.
  • Discovering: Sugar can accommodate a wide variety of users, with different levels of skill in terms of reading, language, and different levels of experience with computing. It is easy to approach, yet it doesn't put an upper bound on personal expression. One can peel away layers and go deeper and deeper, with no restrictions.