1. Vote early and often: There is one more week to cast your ballot in the Sugar Oversight Board election. The Selectricity server was (unexpectedly) down for maintenance this past weekend; if you had trouble accessing the server, please try again.
2. Minsky on learning: On the flight to Austin this weekend, I was rereading Marvin Minsky's The Emotion Machine; I came across this inspiring quote: "We like to think that a child's play is unconstrained—but when children appear to feel joyous and free, this may merely hide from their minds their purposefulness; you can see this more clearly when you attempt to drag them away from their chosen tasks. For they are exploring their worlds to see what's there, making explanations of what those things are, and imagining what else could be; exploring, explaining and learning are among a child's most purposeful urges and goals. The playfulness of childhood is the most demanding teacher we have. Never again in those children's lives will anything drive them to work so hard."
Community jams and meetups
3. Book sprint: We are in the midst of a week-long book sprint, with the goal of creating manual for Sugar. Please follow our progress at Floss Manuals and feel free to create an account and help with writing, illustrating, or editing.
4. Ceibal Jam: Pablo Flores is spreading the word about the upcoming Ceibal Jam in Uruguay (30 August and 6 September). Ceibal Jam is a social movement independent of voluntary and open membership, which seeks nuclear everyone who has an interest in contributing to the development of software with potential usefulness for the Plan Ceibal, is an effort to develop local capacity to create new applications and modify Existing to address the specific needs of the Uruguayan reality. On the occasion of this second jam, introductory workshops will be conducted to programming for computers XO Plan Ceibal, targeted audiences with different levels of knowledge, while also submitted development projects under way and will form groups to work during the days in different proposals programming (Please see mediagala.com). The meeting is sponsored by the Catholic University of Uruguay, Larrobla & Associates and Artech (Additional information is available at Ceibal Jam).
5. Learning Content: On Sunday, 31 August, at 4PM, OLPC will be hosting a public meeting to discuss (Please see OLPC Physics):
- Great teachers have great content they've spent their lifetime developing—how can they contribute to OLPC/Sugar?
- How can engineers help teachers get set projects into motion?
- How can we together help with the transition from paper and pencil to Sugar and computing?
- What learning strategies are OLPC working on?
- Caryl Bigenho, longtime teacher and senior OLPC support volunteer
- Brian Jordan, OLPC Intern, author of Physics Activity (User:Bjordan)
- David Cavallo, OLPC VP Learning
6. Watch out your teeth! Simon Schampijer and the release team are happy to announce the final release of Sucrose 0.82 (See http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/sugar/2008-August/007911.html). Sucrose 0.82 is the latest version of the Sugar learning platform, consisting of Glucose, the base system environment; and Fructose, a set of demonstration activities. Sucrose is released every six months; the new release contains many new features, improvements, bug fixes, and translations.
There are extensive release notes (Please see Sucrose 0.82). Also, please refer to the roadmap for our next release (Roadmap Schedule) and join in the discussion of the upcoming 0.84 release (Roadmap 0.84).
Many people contributed to this release, including those who helped with testing, documentation, translation, contributing to the wiki, outreach to education and developer communities. On behalf of the community, we give our warmest thanks to the developers and contributors who made this Sugar release possible.
I'd like to give special thanks to Simon for managing our most well organized release to date. He has set the bar high for future Sugar release managers.
7. Embedded Sugar: David Farning has been leading a discussion about building an embedded-Sugar community. A group of developers have been assembled to port Sugar to the (Beagleboard). They plan to use the Open Embedded toolkit (Open Embedded), which is both a cross-compiler and an embedded package-management system. The team will be using BeagleBoardSugar as a point of collaboration as well as the beagleboard mailing list (http://groups.google.com/group/beagleboard?hl=en).
8. Measure 19: Arjun Sarwal has release a new version of the Measure activity (Measure19.xo); please send Arjan feedback as there are extensive changes and enhancements.
9. Self-organizing map (SOM): Gary Martin has generated another SOM from the past week of discussion on the IAEP mailing list (Please see Image:2008-August-16-22-som.jpg