Sugar on a Stick in Delhi India

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Introduction

DavidAnuragFrank.
Francis, David and Anurag.
We are a team from Boston University composed of Anurag Goel (Engineering '12), David Han (Political Science '11) and Francis Thalakotur (Engineering '12).

We want to provide better educational opportunities for elementary school students all around the world. There is a pronounced achievement gap between students in "developed" countries and "developing" countries. We think technology can play a huge role in shrinking that gap. With this goal in mind, we will be introducing Sugar on a Stick to several classrooms in Delhi, India.

Sugar on a Stick

What is Sugar on a Stick? Sugar is an educational operating system designed for children. It boasts a unique graphical interface and a plethora of open-source educational activities. It's currently used by over a million children around the world using XO laptops One Laptop per Child, so we know it works. We're putting Sugar on a USB stick, so a child can boot their personal learning platform on any computer from a USB stick.

There are a few benefits from this approach. The USB sticks function like a portable computer, and are inexpensive/replaceable. Also, since children can use their sticks at home, this can extend the amount of time children spend learning outside the classroom. Also, all the student's work is automatically saved, so teachers can go back and see exactly where student's are struggling or succeeding.

Our research

We want to measure improvements in student learning as a result of using Sugar on a Stick. We'll be measuring improvements using both quantitative and qualitative methods. A unique aspect of our research is that we're really exploring how teachers can evaluate student performance using digital portfolios.

A digital portfolio functions much like a normal portfolio - it is a compilation of a student's major accomplishments. Sugar automatically saves all a student's work, so any work done on a computer will be in a student's portfolio.

If every child has a digital portfolio, a compilation of their work and achievements, a teacher can see exactly where each child is struggling and excelling. For example, a teacher can identify a child struggling with subject-verb agreement or fractions. Also, portfolios give children an opportunity to showcase critical thinking and creativity. While portfolios cannot replace standardized tests, we believe it is an important evaluation tool for teachers.

We will be publishing a case study in the fall semester (2010) with a professor in the BU School of Education, Dr. Evangeline Harris Stefanakis.

Our research design was awarded a Boston University Undergraduate Research Oppurtunities Program (UROP) grant. We will present our research and the outcomes of our project to the Boston University community this fall.

Sample Survey

MATHEMATICS

How engaged is the student when using math to solve problems?

Unengaged 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very engaged

How quickly does the student master new concepts in mathematics?

Very slowly 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very Quickly

How motivated is the student when learning new concepts in mathematics?

Unmotivated 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very motivated

How proficient is the student in explaining math concepts to peers?

Poorly 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very proficient

ENGLISH

How proficiently does the student speak English?

Poorly 1 2 3 4 5 6 Fluent

How confident is the student when speaking English?

Unconfident 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very confident

How motivated is the student when learning English?

Unmotivated 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very motivated

How well does the student pronounce English words and phrases?

Poorly 1 2 3 4 5 6 Fluent

How proficiently does the student read English?

Poorly 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very proficient

How proficiently does the student write English?

Poorly 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very proficient

SEETA

We will be partnering with SEETA (Software for Education, Entertainment and Training Activities). SEETA is a non-profit in Delhi, India and our local partner. SEETA focuses on creating ‘activities’ (software) for Sugar that meets specific curriculum objectives.

SEETA is supporting our research with manpower and technical support. They have been communicating with local schools in Delhi who are interested in a Sugar deployment. Also, they will be familiarizing teachers with Sugar prior to our arrival in India. After we leave, they will continue supporting Sugar on a Stick to help make our project sustainable.

Schools

We will be deploying Sugar on a Stick in Delhi, India. We are working in:

- Veda Vyasa D.A.V School - Vikas Puri, Delhi

Our blog

http://theteamgoestoindia.wordpress.com/

Progress

Get Involved

Why Should you Help?

-Help kids in Delhi, India get access to the best educational oppurtunities

-Support Innovation! This is a new idea; this pilot will be a blueprint other schools can follow for inexpensive, easy to maintain, student computing.

Donate!

We received a grant from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program(UROP) at Boston University for $4000, but still need money to reach our fundraising goal of $6000.

Any contribution will go a long way towards providing children with the best educational oppurtunities. We appreciate your support.

You can make a direct donation to our PayPal account, or if there's another way you'd like to support our efforts, our contact information is below.

People

David Han

David is from Glenview, Illinois and graduated from Glenbrook South HS. He's a political science student at Boston University and is particularly interested in quantitative data analysis in the social sciences. He's been working with Sugar on a Stick since the start of the 2009 school year.

Anurag Goel

Anurag Goel is from Centreville, VA. He is currently a second year undergraduate student in Boston University's College of Engineering. Last summer he worked on deploying Sugar on a Stick at Gardner Pilot Academy in Boston, MA. He has been working for Sugar Labs since last Fall on both technical and deployment projects. He is interested in working with students and teachers to see how Sugar can be further improved to meet educational needs of the 21st century. He is working towards writing his own Sugar activities to meet different educational objectives.

Francis Thalakotur

Francis is from Schenectady, NY and went to Niskayuna High School. He is now done with his second year at Boston University studying Mechanical Engineering. Francis is excited to help Sugar Labs create software to help children learn.

Contact information

Anurag Goel - agoel23@gmail.com

David Han - dshan@bu.edu

Francis Thalakotur - francis@thalakotur.com