[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] How to Make Activity Designers Happy , Parts I and II

Tomeu Vizoso tomeu at sugarlabs.org
Sun Jan 4 09:32:00 EST 2009

On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 15:16, Bill Kerr <billkerr at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 3, 2009 at 6:55 AM, Bryan Berry <bryan at olenepal.org> wrote:
>> On Fri, 2009-01-02 at 15:18 -0500, Walter Bender wrote:
>> > (3) We need lots more Activities.
>> While there is consensus on this point, there is not consensus on the
>> best way to get a lot more Activities. That is, pulling a lot more
>> developers into building learning activities that run on Sugar.
> I think what we need are quality activities from both a technical and
> educational perspective, which is a different position from more activities
> The way I read Bryan's position is that it is based on some particularities
> of the Nepal situation some of which have been spelt out in the article but
> some other educational conditions which were not spelt out
> What has been spelt out:
> Nepal is a poor country cf Uruguay and other Latin American countries
> (Purchasing Power Parity PPP$ adjusted income per person Uruguay 8,653;
> Nepal 1052)
> Most Nepal teachers have not seen computers before unlike their Latin
> American counterparts
> Nepal developers have existing skills in certain technologies (HTML, CSS,
> Javsscript, Flash) and not in others (Python, PyGTK)
> Nepal developers are time strapped and have strong obligations to their
> families
> They do have time and willingness to contribute to more activities but that
> requires acceptance,  understanding and incorporation of their existing
> skill set into the sugar project
> What was not spelt out (Bryan will correct me if I am incorrect):
> Existing Nepal curriculum is very structured
> Strong pressure on teachers and students to pass existing curriculum because
> of penalties involved for failing
> I can see the logic of Bryan's position when the whole spectrum of Nepal
> circumstances are spelt out but I'm wondering how much these factors, some
> of which are local to Nepal, should influence the whole project. How much
> should Bryan's Nepal necessity - FOSS paradox be transferred to the whole
> project of activity development?

Well, I see the changes requested by Bryan as additive, so potentially
not causing any harm to other users of Sugar. Of course, for OLPC
Nepal would make more sense if their work on top of Sugar is used by
others, so the burden of maintaining it would be shared.

Also, by discussing it with the community first, other users of Sugar
can detect areas where it would be worth joining forces, thus
decreasing the burden of initial development.



> Local factors - such as the ability and willingness of the existing
> education system to bend and adapt - will influence how the project develops
> in different countries.
> I'll write another comment which addresses the issues raised about
> foundational skills and constructivism (by Bryan, Walter, Wade)
> The main point I'm trying to make in this comment is that there may well be
> a difference between the current Nepal necessity of developing more
> activities due to all the factors above (local issues) and what I see as the
> general need for quality activities. I don't see processes or much
> discussion for quality control from an educational perspective in place.
> Making activity developers happy is not the same thing as making all
> educators happy.
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