Sugar Labs/FAQ

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This page contains many frequently-asked questions along with some answers.
To ask a new question, please post your question(s) here. We encourage you to answer questions and keep these pages organized.

About Sugar

What is Sugar?

Sugar is an educational software platform built with the python programming language and based on the principles of cognitive and social constructivism.

What makes Sugar different from other educational software platforms?

The Sugar interface, in its departure from the desktop metaphor for computing, is the first serious attempt to create a user interface that is based on both cognitive and social constructivism: learners should engage in authentic exploration and collaboration. It is based on three very simple principles about what makes us human: (1) everyone is a teacher and a learner; (2) humans by their nature are social beings; and (3) humans by their nature are expressive. These are the pillars of a user experience for learning.

Sugar also considers two aphorisms: (1) you learn through doing, so if you want more learning you want more doing; and (2) love is a better master than duty—you want people to engage in things that are authentic to them, things that they love.

The presence of other people is always present in the Sugar interface: collaboration is a first-order experience. Students and teachers engage in a dialog with each other, support each other, critique each other, and share ideas.

Sugar is also discoverable: it 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 and yet it doesn't put an upper bound on personal expression; one can peel away layers and go deeper and deeper, with no restrictions.

Sugar is based on Python, an interpreted language, allowing the direct appropriation of ideas: in whatever realm the learner is exploring—music, browsing, reading, writing, programming, graphics, etc.—they are able to drill deeper; they are not going to hit a wall, since they can, at every level, engage in debugging both their personal expression and the very tools that they use for that expression.

Using Sugar

Is there an image of the OS that can be run on a PC?

Sugar on an ASUS Eee PC

Q: I have an ASUS Eee p.c. and i was wondering if sugar has been ported to it yet. if so has an image of a boot-able USB key been produced? and if so what is the URL of the image that i can drag and drop to a blank drive and reboot sugar from? and if not.... how much longer?

A: There is a thread on the mailing list about success stories: http://lists.lo-res.org/pipermail/its.an.education.project/2008-May/000282.html Another pointer is: ftp://rohrmoser-engineering.de/pub/XO-LiveCD/XO-LiveCD_080321.pdf

About Sugar Labs

What is Sugar Labs?

Sugar Labs, a (soon to be established) non-profit foundation, serves as a support base and gathering place for the community of educators and software developers who want to extend the Sugar platform and who have been creating Sugar-compatible applications.

What is the mission of Sugar Labs?

The overarching mission of Sugar Labs is to support the Sugar platform through software development, and community outreach and support. The purpose of the Sugar platform is provide a software and content environment that enhances learning. Towards this end, Sugar is designed to facilitate learners to “explore, express, debug, and critique.”

What are the principles that guide Sugar Labs?

Sugar Labs subscribes to principle that learning thrives within a culture of freedom of expression, hence it has a natural affinity with the free and open-source software movement (Please see Principles page in this wiki for more details). The core Sugar platform has been developed under a GNU General Public License (GPL); individual activities may be under different licenses.

What is the relationship of Sugar Labs to One Laptop per Child?

Sugar was originally developed as the user interface (UI) for the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) XO-1 laptop. Sugar Labs was established as an independent entity in order to facilitate the growth of Sugar beyond any single hardware platform. While Sugar Labs has a cooperative working relationship with OLPC, it is by no means an exclusive or proprietary relationship. Sugar Labs is not bound to any specific hardware platform or Linux distribution (Please see Supported systems).

Who is Sugar Labs?

Sugar is a community project, so it is the sum of those of you who participate. Sugar Labs was started by some Sugar-community members: Walter Bender, Christoph Derndorfer, Bert Freudenberg, Marco Pesenti Gritti, Bernardo Innocenti, Aaron Kaplan, Simon Schampijer, and Tomeu Vizoso. We are in the process of designing an initial set of rules of governance that will be refined and ratified in a process of public discussion.

How do I get involved?

Please see the Getting Involved page in this wiki.

How do I learn more about Sugar Labs?

Please add new questions to the discussion page or send email to press at sugarlabs.org.