[IAEP] Flash at Sugar Labs

Wade Brainerd wadetb at gmail.com
Tue Jan 6 11:04:34 EST 2009

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 3:03 PM, Chris Ball <cjb at laptop.org> wrote:
> It seems to me that
> Sugar exists because we claim at least the following failings of most
> educational software projects:
> * they don't allow the knowledge they contain to be *appropriated*.
> * they don't allow children to be *creators*
> * they don't allow learning to be *collaborated upon*

I totally agree with these, but let me add two more perhaps unstated ones.

1. Existing educational software costs a lot of *money*, or else is
*poorly designed*.  In my state, entire classes of elementary school
students receive MacBooks from the school, loaded with advanced
educational software.  Even with Apple's massive discounting, the
hardware + software must cost around $1500 per student.  Further, a
lot of the existing open source educational software is fairly weak.
It's even further behind the open source desktop software, which still
has a long way to go to catch up with Microsoft, Apple and the other
commercial vendors.  To me, Sugar represents the best effort yet to
provide actual quality, cohesive educational software as free

Some Flash animations are poorly designed, but many are not, they can
be made quickly and targeted at specific educational goals.  The
deployments have access to trained Flash programmers who are willing
to help out.

2. Existing educational software does not *run on the XO*.  The XO is
the cheap hardware platform we are delivering to under served
children, so what software they can use to learn with must run on this
limited platform.  Flash programs don't run great right now, but with
some tweaking I believe they could probably be made to run acceptably.


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