Archive/Current Events/2009-12-22

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Sugar Digest

1. Last Friday a team from Babson College presented a project report on their strategy for Sugar deployments in US schools. Natalia Grigoras, Wei Lin, and Anna Ivashko participated in a semester-long study of Sugar as part of a Management Consulting Field Experience course. Their mentor was George Lee.

The team undertook the tasks modeling the target audience, uncovering barriers, studying impact, and developing a strategy and recommendation for effectively implementing Sugar in US school systems. I had been working with them throughout the fall; Bernie, Dogi, Luke, Adam, and I attended their final presentation, which will soon be posted in the wiki.

Their methodology included secondary research into existing systems, funding models, etc. and primary research in the form of interviews with teachers, superintendent, technology specialist, etc.

Their findings include an analysis of Sugar’s strengths (breadth, flexibility, collaborative experience, focus on children) and shortcomings (need for extensive up-front training, lack of centralized support, reliability, and resistance to change). Their recommendation include:

  • more web-based support for educators and end-users;
  • standardized guidelines and training programs for teachers during their first exposure to Sugar; and
  • targeted marketing approach to superintendents and technology coordinators.

2. Tomeu Vizoso has been in Uruguay both attending the Ceibel 09 conference and meeting with teachers and the LATU engineering team. While we await his “trip report” (hint) an immediate consequence of his visit is more of a presence of .uy on the #sugar channel in IRC.

3. Tony Forster has created a great series of blog posts on creative uses of Turtle Art. He has couched these presentations within the context of a discussion of interactive multimedia and critical literacy in media.

4. The minutes of last week’s Sugar oversight-board meeting are available in the wiki. We tackled a number of issues, including several motions in regard to the outstanding questions that had been in front of the Sugar-on-a-stick decision panel. The discussion will continue this Friday, 18 December, at 15UTC (10EST) in #sugar-meeting on irc.freenode.net.

Tech Talk

5. Simon Schampijer’s work on systematizing the new feature process for Sugar development has led to a number of great discussions on IRC. Search for the tag [Feature] in the devel list.

Sugar Labs

6. Gary Martin has prepared a map of last week’s discussion on the Sugar IAEP mailing list (Please see SOM).