Sugar Labs/Current Events

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This page is updated each week (usually on Monday morning) with notes from the Sugar Labs community. (The digest is also sent to the community-news at sugarlabs.org list, blogged at walterbender.org, and archived here.) If you would like to contribute, please send email to walter at sugarlabs.org by the weekend. (Also visit planet.sugarlabs.org.)

Sugar Digest

Happy 6th Birthday Sugar Labs

1. I just got back from Turtle Art Day in Kathmandu, Nepal. OLE Nepal helped organize a 2-day workshop with 70+ children from four schools. Many thanks to Martin Dluhos, Basanta Shrestha, Subir Pradhanang, Rabi Karmacharya, Bernie Innocenti, Nick Dorion, and Adam Holt, all of whom contributed to the event.

It was not a surprise that children in Nepal are like children everywhere else: they take to programming like ducks to water. We began by taking the children in small groups to learn some basics about controlling the turtle: one child plays the role of turtle, one holds the pen (a piece of chalk) and the rest, in a circle, instruct the "turtle" how to draw a square. They need to be very precise with their instructions: if they just say "forward" without saying how far forward, the turtle keeps walking. If they say "right", without saying how far to turn, the turtle keeps spinning. After they draw a square, I ask them to draw a triangle; then they are ready to start with Turtle Art. I've posted a few of the chalk drawings in the wiki: simple ones from my session, to more elaborate, from those working with another one of the mentors.

After working with chalk, we went to the computers. On a laptop connected to a projector, I introduced Turtle Blocks, and again ask for a square. I show them that they can snap together blocks, e.g., forward 100, right 90; showed them the repeat block; and then I show them how to use the start block to run their program with the rabbit or snail (fast or slow). Over time, I introduced the pen and let them explore colors for awhile. Next, I introduce action blocks: make an action for drawing a square and then call that action inside of a repeat block followed by right 45, and you get a pretty cool pattern. This was followed by more open-ended exploration. I introduced a few more ideas, such as using "set color to heading" (the color is determined by the direction the turtle is heading); "set color = color + 1" to increment the color; and "set color = time" to make the color slowly change over time. I also introduced a few other blocks, such as show, speak, and random. Finally, I introduced boxes. For this, I use a physical box: I ask the children to put a number (written on paper) in the box; then I ask them what number is in the box. I ask them to take the number in the box and add 1 to it. Again I ask them what number is in the box. I repeat this until they get used to it; then I show them the same thing using Turtle. The example program I write with them is to go forward by the amount in the box, turn right, and add 10 to the number in the box. I asked them what they think will happen, and then show them that it makes a spiral. When they run it with the "snail", they can see the number in the box as the program runs. Another block I explicitly introduced was the "show" block. We programmed an animation with "show image", "wait 1", "show image", "wait 1", ... They recorded dance steps using the Sugar Record activity and used those images in their Turtle projects. As often as possible, we tried to have a child show their work to the entire group. At the end of the second day, we had a table set up for an exhibition; we had to keep adding more tables as more and more children wanted to show off their projects.

We originally planned on break-out sessions on Day Two, but we had a technical glitch on Day One, that slowed things down quite a bit. The children were running Sugar 0.82 on XO-1 laptops, which is nearly six-years old. They had them connected to the mesh network, which cannot scale properly to 70+ machines. The result was a lot of frozen machines. It took most of the day to figure out what was wrong. Once we turned off the radios, everything worked great. I also had to spin a stripped down version of Turtle Art, since a number of dependencies I use, such as some Python 2.7 features, were unavailable on 0.82.

We did have one break-out session for robotics. I brought a Butia to Nepal and I wrote the typical program with the kids to have the Butia go forward until it got to the edge of the circle (everyone was sitting in a circle on the floor); whomever the Butia approached had to push a button so that the Butia would spin and then go in another direction. We then added a few embellishments: the Butia would say "ouch" or "that tickles" when the button was pushed; and we had it take a picture of the child who pushed the button. We saved the files so we could use them to make an animation in Turtle Art.

Of note: One child approached me to say he is teaching himself to program Python. I showed him how to export Python from his Turtle Art projects. I'll be curious how he uses that feature. I am making a new set to Turtle Cards to demonstrate the steps we took in explaining Turtle to the children.

Photos: [1] [2] [3] [4]

2. While I was in Kathmandu, I had a chance to meet with the Nepali FOSS community, thanks to Shankar Pokharel, Ankur Sharma, and Subir Pradhanang. We had a nice File:Kathmandu-FOSS.pdf about the challenges and opportunities facing FOSS in Nepal.

3. Just before my trip to Nepal, I was in Mexico attending Aldea Digital. The central plaza in Centro Historico in DF is turned into the world's largest free Internet cafe for two weeks. I gave a lecture about Sugar and ran an impromptu Turtle Art session. (We installed Sugar in a VM on twenty Windows 8 machines and ran a session.) I also had a chance to meet Ian, the 9-month old baby of Carla Gomez: a future Turtle Artist.

In the Community

4. Mike Dawson, formally of OLPC Afghanistan, wrote a nice commentary on the Keepod in which he mentions Sugar on a Stick.

5. Google Summer of Code begins on the 19th of May. We'll be meeting every week in IRC on Fridays at 2PM EST.

6. There is still time to enter the Sugar Background Image Contest.

Tech Talk

7. Daniel Narvaez has been building F20 images for XO: The XO-1 image boots into Sugar (latest from git) and wifi works. He has also built XO-4 images.

8. Daniel also built tarballs for 0.101.5 (sugar-0.101.7.tar.xz and sugar-toolkit-gtk3-0.101.5.tar.xz. We are now in string, API and UI freeze.

9. Please help us with testing of Sugar 102.

Sugar Labs

10. Please visit our planet.

Community News archive

An archive of this digest is available.

Planet

The Sugar Labs Planet is found here.

Sugar in the news

12 Jun 2014 Producción NacionalInnovando con XO (video)
28 Apr 2014 ABC ColorParaguay Educa realiza talleres de programación y de robótica
21 Apr 2014 El Tiempo'Cada niño podría ser un maestro del 'software': Walter Bender
2 Apr 2014 vera.tvAntel vuelta a clases (video)
4 Feb 2014 La DiariaEn código
24 Jan 2014 EspectadorEntre los ganadores del concurso anual de programación de Google Code-in hay nuevamente un joven uruguayo
23 Jan 2014 El PaisLe enseña a sus profesores y ahora lo premia Google
20 Jan 2014 Google Open Source BlogGoogle Code-in 2013 - drumroll please!
28 Nov 2013 BBVA ParaguayTurtle Art Day in Caacupé (video)
17 Oct 2013 ANTEL IntegraTurtle Art: la plataforma del Butiá
14 Oct 2013 ABC ColorSoftware libre es tema de paneles en la cumbre
14 Oct 2013 ABC ColorProgramar ayuda a los niños a pensar
14 Oct 2013 ABC ColorHoy es el Día de TortugArte, en Caacupé
14 Oct 2013 ABC ColorLas TIC en la educación son clave para el desarrollo del país, aseguran
12 Oct 2013 CromoM’hijo el programador
08 Aug 2013 News1Interview with former MIT Media Lab director (in Korean)
12 Jul 2013 RIT‘Sky Time’ video game selected for White House Champions of Change event July 23
28 Apr 2013 BBC MundoLos programadores adolescentes premiados por Google
07 Feb 2013 el Neuvo HeraldJoven uruguayo brilla como programador y es distinguido por Google
06 Feb 2013 el ObservadorJoven uruguayo gana la competencia Google Code (Also see GCI press interviews)
07 Sep 2012 NDTVOne Laptop Per Child initiative a hit in rural India
08 Jul 2012 Estado de S. PauloPara educar
24 Apr 2012 Pacific StandardOLPC Redux
12 Apr 2012 Huffington PostHult Global Case Challenge: One Laptop Per Child
30 Mar 2012 newswise“Sugar on a Stick” Helps Kids Learn How to Learn
11 Jan 2012 Boston HeraldOne Laptop Per Child screening $100 tablet
10 Jan 2012 ars technicaCrank, bicycle, and waterwheel: hands-on with the OLPC XO 3.0 tablet
08 Jan 2012 The VergeOLPC XO 3.0 tablet preview: impressions, video, and pictures
07 Jan 2012 The VergeOLPC XO 3.0 tablet: an 8-inch tablet for $100, with Android and Sugar options for the children
23 Dec 2011 Miller-McCuneOne Laptop Per Child Redux
18 Oct 2011 BDURobotics in Uruguay (video)
11 Aug 2011 Berlin.deGewinner des Berliner Landeswettbewerbs zu Open Source stehen fest
25 Jul 2011 CCC ClassicGarmin-sugarlabs development cycling team at Crit starting line
25 Jul 2011 CCC ClassicGarmin-sugarlabs development cycling team after Crit
13 Apr 2011 framablogL'expérience Sugar Labs préfigure-t-elle une révolution éducative du XXIe siècle?
05 Apr 2011 BusinesswireThe Government of Peru Expands the One Laptop Per Child Program with Local Manufacturing
31 Jan 2011 SundanceA Day in the Life – Peru
01 Dec 2010 velonationSugar Labs to back Garmin-Cervelo’s development team in unique arrangement
28 Oct 2010 UCRNuevas tecnologías deben estar al alcance de todos los niños y niñas
05 Oct 2010 xconomyOne Ecosystem per Child
08 Sep 2010 FLOSS WeeklySugar Labs
09 Aug 2010 ABC digitalIndicadores constatan el impacto positivo en el aprendizaje de niños
23 Jun 2010 ABC digitalXo para todas las escuelas de Caacupé
21 Jun 2010 La Nacion“Buscamos que los niños no solo usen softwares, sino que puedan crear uno”
20 Jun 2010 UltimaHora.comLa laptop une a padres, alumnos y docentes
15 Jun 2010 The HOLPC XO-1.5 software updated
10 Jun 2010 engadgetSugar on a Stick hits 3.0, teaches us about a new kind of fruit
27 May 2010 Pro Linux DESugar on a Stick v3 freigegeben (German)
27 May 2010 NY TimesOne Laptop Per Child Project Works With Marvell to Produce a $100 Tablet
27 May 2010 PC WorldOLPC Rules out Windows for XO-3
03 May 2010 WXXI: Mixed MediaInterview with Walter Bender (audio)
03 May 2010 Linux MagazineOLPC Computers for Palestinian Refugee Children
14 Apr 2010 National Science FoundationXO Laptops Inspire Learning In Birmingham, Alabama (video)
02 Apr 2010
15 Mar 2010 nbc13.comBirmingham City students opt to spend spring break in class, XO computer camps (video)
18 Feb 2010 LWNKarma targets easier creation of educational software
05 Feb 2010 iprofesionalLa PC barata de Negroponte desembarca en la Argentina para pelear contra Intel
14 Jan 2010 AALFOpen Systems for Broader Change
03 Jan 2010 Educacion 2.0PLAN CEIBAL, El Libro
14 Dec 2009 xconomySugar gets sweeter
10 Dec 2009 ars technicaSugar software environment gets sweeter with version 2
09 Dec 2009 WiredNew Sugar on a Stick Brings Much Needed Improvements
08 Dec 2009 engadgetSugar on a Stick OS goes to 2.0, gets Blueberry coating and creamy Fedora 12 center (video)
07 Dec 2009 Teleread.orgSugar on a Stick: What it means for e-books and education
27 Nov 2009 CNET Japan「コードを見せて、もっと良くなるよ」と言える子どもが生まれる--Sugar Labsが描く未来
16 Nov 2009 zanichellisoftware libero a scuola
12 Nov 2009 opensuse.orgopenSUSE 11.2 Released
07 Nov 2009 My Broadband NewsMandriva 2010 packs a punch [and Sugar]
06 Nov 2009 GhanaWebOpen education and an IT-enabled economic growth in Ghana: Musings of a dutiful citizen
26 Oct 2009 Linux Magazine ESSoftware Libre como apoyo al aprendizaje
09 Oct 2009 interdisciplinesOLPC and Sugar: mobility through the community
08 Oct 2009 IBM developerWorks10 important Linux developments everyone should know about
01 Oct 2009 OLPC FranceInterview Walter Bender au SugarCamp
25 Sep 2009 The InquirerOne Laptop per Child marches on
18 Sep 2009 GroklawThe Role of Free Software in Education
18 Sep 2009 ReutersSugar Labs and Free Software Foundation Celebrate Software Freedom Day
17 Sep 2009 ICTDev.orgDream Again with One Laptop per Child
26 Aug 2009 LatinuxAzúcar en una memoria USB
03 Aug 2009 Wired: Geek DadInventing a New Paradigm: SugarLabs and the Sugar UI
30 Jul 2009 ZanichelliSugar on a Stick: imparare insieme
23 Jul 2009 Everything USBRecycleUSB.com - Donate your Flash Drives for a Good Cause
22 Jul 2009 OLPC FranceSugar : mauvaise presse et mise au point
13 Jul 2009 Spiegel OnlineDas zuckersüße Leichtbau-Linux
07 Jul 2009 ComputerWorldUKGran Canaria Desktop Summit: a Study in Contrasts
06 Jul 2009 Windows ForestUSBメモリなどから“OLPC”用のOSを利用できる「Sugar on a Stick」が無償公開
02 Jul 2009 Howard County LibrarySugar on a Stick
27 Jun 2009 DeutschlandfunkSüßes für die Kleinen: Sugar ist Linux speziell für Kinder (in Deutsch)
26 Jun 2009 EduTechSugar on a stick, and other delectables (praise for the lowly USB drive)
26 Jun 2009 ars technicaSugar on a Stick brings sweet taste of Linux to classrooms
24 Jun 2009 BBCOLPC software to power aging PCs
24 Jun 2009 Technology Review$100 Laptop Becomes a $5 PC
15 Jun 2009 TechSavvyKidsEpisode 10 FOSSVT: Sugar on a Stick (audio)
10 Jun 2009 LWN.netSugar moves from the shadow of OLPC
27 May 2009 LWN.netActivities and the move to context-oriented desktops (subscriber link)
27 May 2009 Business WireDailymotion Launches Support for Open Video Formats and Video HTML Tag
01 May 2009 GuysoftNokia N810 Running OLPC Sugar
29 Apr 2009 El MercurioAsí se vivió la fiesta del software libre
27 Apr 2009 ostaticSugar on a Stick: Good for Kids' Minds (and School Budgets)
25 Apr 2009 Free Software MagazineThe Bittersweet Facts about OLPC and Sugar
24 Apr 2009 ars technicaFirst taste: Sugar on a Stick learning platform
22 Apr 2009 BetanewsBeta of Live USB Sugar OS opens
27 Mar 2009 Mass High TechGoogle promotes summer open-source internships
18 Mar 2009 MetropolisA Good Argument
16 Mar 2009 Laptop MagazineSugar Labs’ New Version of Sugar Learning Platform Is Netbook and PC Ready
16 Mar 2009 Market WatchSugar Labs Nonprofit Announces New Version of Sugar Learning Platform for Children, Runs on Netbooks and PCs
14 Feb 2009 OLPC Learning Club – DCLearning Learning on a Stick
05 Feb 2009 xconomySugar Beyond the XO Laptop: Walter Bender on OLPC, Sucrose 0.84, and “Sugar on a Stick”
26 Jan 2009 Linus MagazineSugar Defies OLPC Cutbacks
19 Jan 2009 Feeding the PenguinsThe status of Sugar, post-OLPC
16 Jan 2009 OLPC NewsSugar on Acer Aspire One & Thin Client via LTSP
12 Jan 2009 Bill Kerrthoughts about olpc cutbacks
07 Jan 2009 ars technicaOLPC downsizes half of its staff, cuts Sugar development
06 Jan 2009 OLPC NewsAn Inside Look at how Microsoft got XP on the XO
30 Dec 2008 OLPC NewsSugar Labs Status at Six Months
22 Dec 2008 The GNOME ProjectSugar Labs, the nonprofit behind the OLPC software, is joining the GNOME Foundation
16 Dec 2008 Feeding the PenguinsSugar git repository change
14 Dec 2008 NPRLaptop Deal Links Rural Peru To Opportunity, Risk (Part 2)
13 Dec 2008 NPRLaptops May Change The Way Rural Peru Learns (Part 1)
09 Dec 2008 SFCSugar Labs joins Conservancy
31 Oct 2008 Linux DevicesAn OLPC dilemma: Linux or Windows?
10 Oct 2008 Feeding the PenguinSugar on Ubuntu
21 Sep 2008 GroklawInterview with Walter Bender of Sugar Labs
17 Sep 2008 Bill KerrSugar Labs
16 Sep 2008 Open SourceSugar everywhere
28 Aug 2008 OLPC NewsAn answer to Walter Bender's question 22
20 Aug 2008 OLPC NewsSugarize it: Intel Classmate 2
08 Aug 2008 Investor's Business Daily'Learning' Vs. Laptop Was Issue
06 Aug 2008 OLPC NewsTwenty-three Questions on Technology and Education
18 Jul 2008 Bill Kerrevaluating Sugar in the developed world
28 Jun 2008 OLPC NewsA Cutting Edge Sugar User Interface Demo
18 Jun 2008 PC WorldOLPC Spin-off Developing UI for Intel's Classmate PC
17 Jun 2008 DatamationIf Business Succeeds with GNU/Linux, Why Not OLPC?
11 Jun 2008 LinuxInsiderThe Sweetness of Collaborative Learning
06 Jun 2008 Bill Kerruntangling Free, Sugar, and Constructionism
06 Jun 2008 Open EducationWalter Bender Discusses Sugar Labs Foundation
06 Jun 2008 BusinessWeekOLPC: The Educational Philosophy Controversy
05 Jun 2008 Code CultureThe Distraction Machine
05 Jun 2008 BusinessWeekOLPC: The Open-Source Controversy
27 May 2008 The New York TimesWhy Walter Bender Left One Laptop Per Child
26 May 2008 ars technicaOLPC software maker splits from X0 hardware, goes solo
22 May 2008 BetaNewsLinux start-up Sugar Labs in informal talks with four laptop makers
16 May 2008 OSTATICOLPC's Open Source Sugar Platform Aims for New Hardware
16 May 2008 PCWorldBender Forms Group to Promote OLPC's Sugar UI
16 May 2008 MHTBender jumps from OLPC, founds Sugar Labs
16 May 2008 News.comSugar Labs will make OLPC interface available for Eee PC, others
16 May 2008 Feeding the PeguinsThe future of Sugar
16 May 2008 Sugar listA few thoughts on SugarLabs
16 May 2008 xconomyBender Creates Sugar Labs—New Foundation to Adapt OLPC’s Laptop Interface for Other Machines
16 May 2008 BBC'$100 laptop' platform moves on
15 May 2008 OLPC wikiDual-boot XO Claim: OLPC will not work to port Sugar to Windows.
16 May 2008 SoftpediaBender Launches Sugar Labs for Better Development of OLPC's Sugar UI

Press releases

See our Press Page