[IAEP] SoaS in the classroom feedback

Bill Kerr billkerr at gmail.com
Sun Aug 2 05:59:53 EDT 2009

On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 9:54 PM, Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 7:55 AM, Bill Kerr<billkerr at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 10:10 AM, Caroline Meeks
> > <caroline at solutiongrove.com> wrote:

> 1) once I have created a stick can I upgrade just one program, such as the
> > version of Physics which saves (if so how?), or do I have to wait until
> that
> > version is officially released and then reformat all the sticks - I
> suppose
> > both are time consuming since I have about 20 sticks to do - but the
> latter
> > involves waiting for the official release
> You can update individual activities from activities.sugarlabs.org.
> You can add new activities from the same site. One caveat: a handful
> of activities are installed with .rpm instead of .xo. These cannot be
> updated on the fly without jumping through several hoops. This will
> change on the next release of SoaS. (See
> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_on_a_Stick/Roadmap#Fructose_modules_.28F11.29
> ).

the immediate issue is about updating physics - from reading gary's earlier
comments physics2, which is the version currently available in activities,
does not save - confirmed a few times now with our strawberry sticks

best option might be to wait for official release of physics3 to activities,
I probably will do that unless there is a reasonable quick update

> > 2)
> > http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_on_a_Stick/Strawberry#Windows_Users
> > For Window User point 5
> >
> > "Set the Persistent Storage slider to the maximum so you can save your
> Sugar
> > work onto the USB device;
> > (You may allocate as much storage as there is capacity on your device.
> You
> > may allocate less than the maximum, if you want to use some of the device
> > storage when not booting Sugar.)"
> >
> > I ended up setting the Persistent Storage to maximum. Now I'm wondering
> that
> > if I had allocated less than the maximum then could a student copy a file
> > from the journal onto the SoaS (rather than their own USB) and it would
> save
> > in some of that non allocated storage. This is an issue because not all
> > students bring their own USBs to class. Sometimes there is a need to swap
> in
> > and out of the Sugar environment back to the Windows environment (found
> in
> > most schools) so ability to easily save on a USB is an issue. Actually,
> this
> > ended up being the first major thing I taught my students to do.
> As far as I know, this should work, but I haven't tested it. That
> said, in the long-term roadmap, we want the journal files more readily
> accessible from outside of Sugar. (They are in a "squash" filesystem
> right now, not easy to access.)

I like the sound of making the journal files more readily accessible from
outside sugar in the future - very desirable for teachers swapping back and
forward from the dominant Windows school environments

I just tried my suggestion above and could ***not*** save a test file onto
the spare SoaS storage - pity

 > 3) the information about failed sticks not rebooting is valuable - some

> > sticks have failed for me but I haven't worked out any real pattern yet,
> > quite complex to keep track when teaching a class, just tell the kids to
> try
> > a different stick and / or different computer - but the sticks are
> numbered
> > and now each student uses the same one each lesson so patterns will
> become
> > clearer soon
> Failed sticks often get a second life, which also complicates things.

We have been going for a couple of weeks now and failed sticks have not been
a problem

A couple of times the screens have frozen - but only a couple of times - so
at this stage it's pretty reliable

Rebooting has worked so far when screens freeze

> 4) some of my sticks (about half) are card readers 2GB cards, they work
> fine
> > 5) the brand of stick of stick makes a difference, LASERS are very slow
> (and
> > cheapest), KINGSTON seem good
> > 6) collaboration did not work out of the box - is it meant to? - I have a
> > jabber server from last year which I have yet to setup but will do so
> soon
> It should have worked. Is Internet access working out of the box?

Collaboration without a jabber server did not work

I spoke to joel about this and he put forward the idea that proxy servers
are used differently in Australia to USA and that perhaps the USA experience
of collaboration working is because the jabber server there is not being
blocked - the jabber server port is blocked in oz schools
(adding joel to cc list)

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