In the beginning, the Sugar Labs wiki was the homepage. In the spring of 2009, we prepared a small static HTML intro section to give a high-level overview of the project useful for teachers, parents, and journalists and which would direct people to appropriate areas of the wiki and other sites such as the Activities Library.
2011 website revamp
In late 2010 and early 2011, agreement was reached to revamp the www.sugarlabs.org website. The MIT Sloan MarketLab students' work has stimulated important reconsideration of the messages we want to project on this public site. (See Marketing Team#MIT Sloan MarketLab Study and March 2011 marketing meetings.)
Professor Stephen Jacobs of the Rochester Institute of Technology, RIT, is working with us through two of his students, Mike Devine and JT Mengel, to revamp our website. They travelled to New York City on March 18, 2011, and spent the day in a workshop with Christian Marc Schmidt. Snapshots of that day's whiteboards are here: website revamp workshop whiteboard1 and here: website revamp workshop whiteboard2; first version of overview of the new website's sections is here: Sugar Labs workshop 2011 March 18
The sections below are a place to explore and summarize ideas collected from our community on how best to market Sugar Labs through a web site for our primary target market, teachers.
Collaboration is a prime distinguishing feature of Sugar that we should naturally project in the image of Sugar Labs.
- We must provide a means to collaborate on the public website.
- We must provide a means to build and maintain the website collaboratively.
The general public can collaborate effectively through blog-style comments and social group sites that link with www.sugarlabs.org. Creative tools are available for public expression and collaboration, and we must learn to put our public to "work" with them to properly engage them in the Sugar Labs Learning experience. This will help extend our Learning Platform into the world wide web.
- (A technical collaboration proposal was drafted in January 2010.)
The second goal can be accomplished by starting a wiki version of the main content. Marketing volunteers and others can edit, integrate, and migrate the best submissions from the wiki sandbox and other sources to the main web site.
Children and teachers delighted in their learning experience is another prime distinguishing feature of Sugar deployments. This results from Sugar's founding principles:
- everyone is a teacher and a learner
- humans by their nature are social beings
- humans by their nature are expressive
- we learn through doing, and
- love is a better master than duty
We can proudly point to visual evidence of this in our OLPC deployments of Sugar.
The public can learn that it is the Sugar software that powers those computers; and it is people, dedicated to the Sugar principles, that drive the communities to collaborate for such joyful learning.
A learning laboratory
The public can learn that Sugar Labs is a learning laboratory, where the most important life skill is practiced and espoused. They can learn how we are a laboratory developing catalysts to revolutionize the field of education. We don't work exclusively in such a broad field, but we hope that we can spark others to recognize and advance some of our developments and to help in finding the most successful ways to stimulate others to join in the mission of advancing learning to the highest possible level.
Sugar Labs' role is to be a focus and lens for Learners to learn learning—as we are, and as we begin with the tools and communities we can assemble. We are not a global university, but the public should be able to recognize that we have some powerful ideas and tools, which are uniquely free, and which have great potential to advance learning and education.
All the inspiring views of education provided by OLPC, XO, and Sugar images prompt all good-hearted souls to imagine wonderful possibilities for a better world. Technologists see similar possibilities in the Sugar software platform in the broad sense, including the style of development and the fundamentally free expression of human intentions to a world of machines.
Our technologists want to learn how to teach machines to learn to collaborate with humans, and our educators want to learn how to teach humans to learn to learn with machines that can let humans collaborate in their learning. Wow! that's a lot of learning. But the freedom to learn that comes from having such free and powerful ideas and the companion of tools is unlimited.
We need your help in unleashing that potential! If you love children and collaboration and learning, and if you can help us with learning technology and software or any of the important bits needed to enliven and liberate our human potential in a project like this, then please join with us and contribute some of those billions of ways that you might help to propel Sugar learning into the future.
Sugar Labs® is a non-profit association, consisting entirely of the free contributions of volunteers. Please see our Getting Involved page for how you might contribute. Financial donations are used to support grassroots learning innovations and face-to-face meetings between developers and educators.