[IAEP] Volunteer-driven development of educational software

Caroline Meeks caroline at solutiongrove.com
Tue Nov 11 18:03:30 EST 2008

Hi All and especially Greg D.

On Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 1:19 PM, Greg Dekoenigsberg <gdk at redhat.com> wrote:

> On Tue, 11 Nov 2008, Greg Smith wrote:
>  Hi All,
>> On the question of Open Source to develop applications which are not
>> necessarily used by the people who write the code. That is a challenge
>> which I think we should address directly.
>> Greg D's strategy (programmers code for themselves then we re purpose it
>> for schools) may be the most fruitful in terms producing lots of
>> applications quickly. I certainly hope so.
> To be clear, this is not exactly what I said.  The spirit is correct --
> have more developers involved more directly with Sugar -- but that really
> only helps with (a) the core of Sugar itself, and (b) activities that are
> not strictly educational but have educational uses (Browse, Write, Chat,
> maybe some games, etc.)
> I think that producing useful activities that are intended solely for kids,
> with a strong pedagogical element, is still a largely unsolved problem.

World wide there are many programmers paid to create and maintain activities
with strong pedagogical elements intended solely for kids.  Many of these
activities are distributed without cost and some are open source.  Some that
I'm familiar with are NSDL, PBS Teachers Domain, Concord Consortium.

I think one of the tasks of the Marketing Team, which I see you head, is to
convince organizations that are already creating activities that they want
to use Sugar as a Learning Platform to deliver their activities.  If we
succeed in that then I think that many of these programmers will also
contribute to maintaining and extending Sugar itself, because it will be
code that they are using regularly for their jobs.  It will become their

Not saying the other tasks aren't important too, just offering another


Caroline Meeks
Solution Grove
Caroline at SolutionGrove.com

617-500-3488 - Office
505-213-3268 - Fax
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