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Name: John Tierney

Sugar Labs Name: jt4sugar


Skype ID: jt4sugar

John Tierney:Service Learning Project-Purdue University Masters of Science of Education in Learning Design and Technology


My Service Learning Project will involve the Sugar Learning Platform, Sugar Labs, and One Laptop per Child. Even though the underlying principles of these projects are based on Constructivist Learning Theory and draw heavily upon the work of Seymour Papert, two key aspects of constructivism have not been actively built into the Sugar Learning Platform. These are the ideas of reflection and inquiry learning (through individual, peer, and teacher questioning). A second area I will be looking to address is engaging Sugar developers about the technical ability to create a “ Discovery Mode” in Sugar activities. This would allow for the discovery and understanding of the Interfaces/Toolbars within Sugar Activities along with the ability to supply use cases. This would primarily be a learning tool for teachers/instructors, but could also play a role for learners to pick up entry and subordinate skills needed to advance to higher-order goals.


-To make Sugar developers aware of the importance of reflection and inquiry learning as part of a constructionist learning environment and having them agree to take on the technical task of implementing these constructivist tools into the Sugar Learning Platform.(Technically very possible)

-In the case of the Discovery Mode to make the Sugar developers aware of the need for teachers to better understand the Sugar Activities and their capabilities, which would allow the teachers to more effectively facilitate for the learners. For the developers to agree to spending some time looking into the technical possibilities (Technically-This is a Big question-Is it worth developers time?).


Apply Computer- and Web-Based Technologies and Media to the Solution of Instructional Problems - The graduate will demonstrate sound understanding of technology operations and concepts and apply technology to the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of teaching and learning interventions.

a. Plan and design effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology

b. Apply technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies

Apply Instructional Design Principles - The graduate will analyze learning problems and, when appropriate, design, develop, implement, and evaluate appropriate instructional solutions to those problems.

a. Identify and analyze learning and performance problems

b. Design plans and develop instructional interventions using appropriate strategies and techniques

c. Implement and evaluate instructional interventions


-I will create a Wiki page on Sugar Labs Wiki for the Inquiry Learning Global Chat Feature. This would include the reasons why this feature is important to Sugar and its constructivist philosophy. It will also contain links to literature that supports Inquiry Learning and peer-based questioning. I will also look to provide some use cases to clearly illustrate the importance.(1 ½ hour)

-I will create a Wiki page on the Sugar Labs Wiki for the Discovery Mode Feature. I will list use cases for this feature to illustrate its importance and use research from a Sugar Labs project I did last semester with a Literacy, Technology, and Civic Engagement class from the Writing and Rhetoric program at Oakland University, MI. Presently there is collection of "How To" manuals in PDF and on the web. FLOSS Manuals is a key one for Sugar: . A key issue is many users have only one computer and in many other situations poor connections. Having to leave a Sugar Activity to find this information is less than optimal. Bringing this information inside the activities could be a very helpful to teachers and learners alike. (1 ½ hour)

-I will send out emails to the community through the Sugar Labs Developer list and It's An Education Project lists to confirm Wiki feature pages are in place, this is part of Sugar Labs process for inclusion of new features. This opens the opportunity for community comments, suggestions, and feedback. I will look to confirm meetings for discussion on IRC(Internet Relay Chat-How Sugar Labs meets) of the pedagogical need for and technical possibilities of putting in place the Inquiry Learning Global Chat Feature and Discovery Mode Feature.

-Meeting#1: Meet on IRC(Freenode-#sugarlabs-meeting) with Sugar developers about Inquiry Learning Global Chat Feature and its inclusion in next Sugar release 0.98. (1 hour)

-Meeting#2: Meet on IRC(Freenode-#sugarlabs-meeting) with Sugar developers about Discovery Mode Feature and its inclusion in the next Sugar release 0.98. (1 hour)

-This will begin what will end up being a 6 month process until the 0.98 release comes out in September. If I am able to make a good enough case and get these features included, they will then be available to the presently 2.5 million One Laptop per Child XO laptops around the world when they are upgraded to this release, as well as being available for the new XO 3 tablet. It also will be available for anyone else who would like to download this new version of Sugar for free, and can be run on a mac or pc by running Sugar in VirtualBox (A free Virtual Machine).

Collaborative Projects

Project OWL Jr.

Facilitated creation

A collaborative project during the Fall 2011 semester with Dr. Dana Driscoll and her WRT 394 Literacy, Technology, and Civic Engagement class from Oakland University-Rochester Hills, Michigan. The project revolved around researching avenues to include writing process and literacy tools to enhance the Sugar Learning Platform and its constructionism offerings.

The Fargo XO/Sugar Project

Facilitated creation

After presenting a Sugar Workshop along with Walter Bender and Dr.Gerald Ardito at the 2010 Computers&Writing Conference at Purdue University, Dr. Kevin Brooks, Chair of English-North Dakota State University approached us and asked to collaborate on Sugar Labs projects with students and faculty at NDSU along with Madison Elementary School in Fargo, North Dakota. This began a collaborative relationship that has led to the establishment of Sugarlabs@NDSU as a local Sugar Lab, along with the impressive work they have done for the learners at Madison Elementary which is evidenced in the Fargo XO/Sugar Project blog

MIT Sloan MarketLab Study

Facilitated creation

In late 2010, four students from the MIT Sloan MarketLab worked on a study of the Sugar Labs website. Their conclusions indicate the importance not only of revamping our website (launched two years ago when fewer visuals were available), but of addressing other aspects, in particular installation and support issues, as well as the technical orientation of our web presence.

The study wiki, with raw data, is here:

Of particular interest: the survey results from 85 respondents, here: Media:MarketLab_survey_results.pdf

A sample fundraising document by the MarketLab team is here: Media:Sugar_Fundraising_Text_Proposal.odt

The annotated final presentation is here: Media:MIT_MarketLab_Annotated_Presentation.odp