Archive/Current Events/2010-08-21

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Sugar Digest

1. Since the early days of One Laptop per Child I spent a lot of energy combating the accusations that OLPC's plan is to give hardware to children, sit back, and wait for miracles to happen. The sustained efforts of the Sugar community and the enormous investment in support made by the various deployment teams around the world are tangible evidence that we do not waiting for miracles – rather we are doing the hard work to ensure that the opportunity to learn is made available to every child. It is therefore disheartening to hear Nicholas Negroponte once again say "You can, you actually can" [give a kid a laptop connected to the Internet and walk away]. [1] While there is much evidence to suggest that the informal time spent with computing is valuable, we have a lot of work ahead of us in order to bridge the gulf between using a computer and using a computer for learning. While the much-hyped Whole-in-the-Wall Project demonstrated that children can learn to use computers without any instruction, if we want them to engage with "powerful ideas", we must offer them more and better contexts for learning – on their own, among their peers, and under the guidance of a mentor.

2. I was on a short holiday last week, but I did have time to have some fun reworking the Sugar Home View so that we can better support more Activities (and perhaps eventually content). You can see some sketches here. While there are many ideas kicking around about how we might improve the Home View, including making it a normal Sugar Activity and further integrating it into the Journal, I am hoping that this one change will be complete in time to meet the looming feature freeze for 0.90.

3. Hilaire Fernandes announced the release 10.08 of the DrGeo Activity. For those of you have never used it, DrGeo is a great tool for exploring advanced concepts in geometry.

In the community

4. There was an education mini-summit at LinuxCon in Boston. It was heavily geared towards Sugar with talks about Sugar in RHEL 6 (Sebastian Dziallas) and Sugar on Ubuntu (Ian Daniher). There was a very nice talk about using Inkscape in middle school by Máirín Duffy of Red Hat. Alas, I missed both Karlie Robinson talk on her Beginner Guide to FLOSS education and David Trask's update on the Maine 1-to-1 computing initiative.

5. Constructionism 2010 - Paris begins 16 August at the American University of Paris.

Sugar Labs

Gary Martin has generated SOMs from the past few weeks of discussion on the IAEP mailing list.

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