[IAEP] Hi from Caroline of Sugar Labs
caroline at solutiongrove.com
Sun Apr 12 14:50:31 EDT 2009
On Sun, Apr 12, 2009 at 2:09 PM, Mark Ahlness <mahlness at halcyon.com> wrote:
> Caroline, thanks once again for getting back to me. I definitely have
> thoughts and feedback to offer, but I’ve not said anything on the list
> because I’m worried about 1) sounding like an uninformed idiot, or 2)
> sounding like a know it all and offending everybody – both real
> possibilities! I’ll float a couple thoughts by you…
This email is excellent in my opinion! Thank you!
> Where is the XO in this process? My hope would be for a SoaS that could be
> used on an XO and a PC, and yes, even a MAC J My experience has indicated
> that once a stick has booted on an XO or PC, it will not boot on the other
> platform. I understand part of the technical hurdles, but has this just been
> given up on, or it is a priority at all? I know there was a falling out with
> sugar and olpc, and I’m really hoping they do not both lose as a result…
> from where I sit, it does not look good.
This is our vision too and there are definitely people actively working on
how to support the XO using SoaS. However, I've just talked to Walter on
IRC and he says some of the problems are pretty complex, like power
management, and its possible they will not all be solved for 6 months when
the next version of Fedora (F12) becomes available. People are thinking
about it and sometimes people come up with good ideas and things are fixed
quicker then expected.
Macs are also extremely important to us. In the Gardner my pilot school,
all the teachers have macs and they just got 60 mac laptops for carts. I
think about 2 months for the mac. Maybe less. We are working on a bunch of
> I sit in a classroom with 17 PC’s and 5 XO’s, and I kind of see that as a
> microcosm of a larger world, with different opportunities, challenges, and
> tools. I would like my kids to be able to move between those two worlds
> within our classroom, as the educational opportunities inherent would be
> incredible. When I showed my third grade class SoaS on an XO, the first
> question one girl asked was if she could put that stick in her computer at
> home… They are ready, if the technology is ready.
Yes, I agree. This is the world I see and your student totally gets my
Speed bumps I see right now:
1. Its only going to work for her if she has a PC at home.
2. If she loses the stick, or it goes bad, she has lost all her work.
3. She really ought to be able to see in her neighborhood just her class (or
maybe the whole school, that should be something you, the teache,r control),
whether she is at home or at school.
4. Next week there will be a new version with bug fixes she will want and we
don't yet have a way to update her stick without losing her work.
> It’s tough finding enough time in class, with all the regular curriculum
> demands, to let the kids really explore with SoaS. The most stable XO
> version has been soas1. SoaS beta is a step backwards for the XO, with
> browser shutdown on most web pages, which means I’ve been unable to add new
> activities. So I’ll continue to use the earlier version. Once the kids get
> the idea they can load a different identity, they are quickly on to what can
> they do now….. They miss record, speak, pacman (and a coupla other little
> activities), web pages w/sound – and the loss of navigation buttons. Not
> being able to get current battery status is a very real issue, as 2 of our
> xo’s are solar powered, and the kids keep an eye on how much time is left on
Yes, I understand about time. That is why its so important to me to create
something that the kids can take home and to thier afterschool program. It
takes time to explore and you don't have that in your official school day.
> One of my supply list requirements to start the school year for my class,
> besides the usual pencils and folders – was a flash drive. Most kids have
> them, and are ready to go. If there’s a stable release I can load on them,
> it could be very exciting! I would hope of course that version could run on
> XO’s and other computers….
I'm interested in which of the speedbumps I listed and bugs you listed are
must fixes before your kids load up their sticks. Our goal is to fix all of
them, but clearly some are harder then others.
When you do send kids home with sticks I recommend also sending home a boot
helper CD. My guess is that will increase the success rate quite a bit.
Field data on this will be much appreciated.
> Thanks again for listening. If you think this would be ok to post to the
> list, feel free to send on – or I could send it. On teachers contributing to
> the list, I really don’t know what to say, except that it’s a pretty active
> list right now, and too many new voices might become a volume issue, and if
> those conversations went in other directions, hmmm... But I have always
> leaned toward inclusion, so I’d suggest keeping one list and hopefully it
> will find a stable mix of contributors/listeners. Might take a while to
> level off, but growth is good, right? J Plus, I do believe teachers and
> programmers can, and should, communicate and learn from each other.
Thanks! I am forwarding to IAEP
> I appreciate your feedback and conversation. Despite my reservations about
> the XO side of things, I’m still very excited about what you all are doing!
> All the best - Mark
> *From:* solutiongrove at gmail.com [mailto:solutiongrove at gmail.com] *On
> Behalf Of *Caroline Meeks
> *Sent:* Sunday, April 12, 2009 5:48 AM
> *To:* Mark Ahlness
> *Subject:* Re: Hi from Caroline of Sugar Labs
> Hi Mark,
> Thanks for the great report! The most recent version is SoaS-Beta. The Beta
> is F11 based so its in the SoaS2 family. The most recent one seems to have
> some sound but I just talked to Sebastian and he doesn't think Record works
> yet. I put in a ticket. http://dev.sugarlabs.org/ticket/740
> We definitely want field testing. Long term we care intensely about how
> Sugar can be used to support your curriculum, engagement and learning in
> your classroom. We would love blog posts on Sugar by either you or your
> Short term, we are in the middle of making huge strides in terms of getting
> it to actually work across a wide variety of platforms. You can do a lot
> of good by just being a visible teacher trying things. For instance, the
> fact that your kids really want Record to work is powerful timely feedback.
> I can pass it on to the volunteer team but if they heard it directly from
> you or even from your kids via the mailing list that would be a very strong
> motivator. If they succeed in getting it to work a thank you note using
> Record would be wonderful. Everyone is a volunteer right now and everyone
> has competing, often paying, jobs so direct immediate evidence that kids
> benefit is extremely powerful at this stage.
> I'd like your advice, should I be encouraging teachers like you to post to
> IAEP mailing list or should I be encouraging teachers to join a separate
> Moodle Class just for SoaS testing?
> Thank you!
> On Sat, Apr 11, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Mark Ahlness <mahlness at halcyon.com>
> Hi Caroline,
> Have tried soas (2, I think) on one of the Dells in my classroom at Arbor
> Heights Elementary School, in Seattle. It worked great – AND connected
> amazingly well through the district Internet gateway. I was on a screamin’
> Sugar computer J Actually played a Connect Four Game with somebody on an
> XO in my classroom, connected via the xo1share.org jabber server (I lost,
> speed is not everything). Anyway, it was very encouraging.
> If you are looking for a field testing of some of your sticks in a regular
> classroom setting, I’d be very interested in trying them out, especially now
> knowing they’ll run on my computers and can negotiate Internet access. For
> third graders, my kids are pretty tech savvy, and they DO get the idea, are
> comfortable with USB sticks, etc. Just let me know.
> Congrats on the great demo Friday! (I’m following the conversations on the
> IAEP list). Best of luck - Mark
> *From:* Mark Ahlness [mailto:mahlness at halcyon.com]
> *Sent:* Saturday, April 04, 2009 8:18 PM
> *To:* 'Caroline Meeks'
> *Cc:* 'Mark Ahlness'
> *Subject:* RE: Hi from Caroline of Sugar Labs
> Caroline Meeks
> Solution Grove
> Caroline at SolutionGrove.com
> 617-500-3488 - Office
> 505-213-3268 - Fax
Caroline at SolutionGrove.com
617-500-3488 - Office
505-213-3268 - Fax
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