[IAEP] FYI: [SLOBS] SLOB_meeting September, 23rd - Sugarlabs Germany Proposal

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Fri Sep 23 11:07:47 EDT 2011

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Raffael Reichelt <raffael.reichelt at googlemail.com>
Date: Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 11:21 AM
Subject: [SLOBS] SLOB_meeting September, 23rd - Sugarlabs Germany Proposal
To: slobs at lists.sugarlabs.org

Dear Walter, dear board members!
As asked by walter in the last meeting I will try to figure out my
plans regarding Sugar Labs Deutschland - might be of interest too in a
more global, 1st world aspect. But let me first tell you a bit about
my person and background:
Aged 47. I studied some communications engineering, musicology,
political sciences, german philology, mathematics. Spend some years
programming statistical analysis mainly in the field of biometrics and
market research.I settled down in Munich, working for the last 15
years  in different IT management positions for a Teleshopping
company, originally a subsidiary of HSN in the US.
My two kids ( a girl aged 10 and a boy aged 5) grew up in a computer
geeky environment and the more my girl was interested in the
computers at home, I was looking for a way she may use them in a
child-oriented way. Did not find anything suitable until I stumbled on
squeak and some time later luckily sugar. But when I was talking to
other parents and educators of my children, no one knew it. That was
the moment I got involved with sugar.
Last year I decided to leave my job and to do something more useful. I
always liked to work with kids and so I developed my concept for the
Learning Studios, or better called labs. But this wording is not as
common in german, that is why I called it studio.
It is simply a place kids can gather to work with sugar. Every child
gets his own Sugar on a Stick and is taught to use it. The (localized)
sticks will get bundled with a helper CD - in some schools they still,
if at all, have only old computers - and a small booklet, I compiled
for explaining the basics for sugar and the main activities included
in SOAS.
The labs are projected now for up to 15 kids at the time. There will
be dedicated lessons for them using sugar and the activities and
individual coaching on demand. For the parents of the kids in the lab
I will offer some kind of introduction to sugar in order to enable
them at least to reflect on the journal together with their kids.
There will be a more elaborate course for those who want to dig in
deeper - educators for example if they want to start a sugar based
project or working group. At the moment german schools are told to
change from traditional half day teaching to full day teaching. But
they are not prepared for it and need to buy in services. I will offer
them organization and implementation for projects and regular working
I will also provide a transportable environment - I call it "mobile
lab". It will be used for demonstration purposes, off-site courses and
for facilities without a suitable infrastructure.
In my opinion this concept is a perfect blueprint for sugar deployment
in Germany and other western countries. And I guess here we are back
to the Deployment/Local Labs discussion from the last meeting.
Additionally I began to develop an open source, open for trusted
editors, free to use whitelist for children up to 12 years old. It
will be implemented as a google application engine app, offering a
simple validating service for domains, an editors interface and a web
directory to browse contents. I call it "sweet proxy". I would like to
have it included for general network access into sugar but in any case
it will be usable as an external service by squid. I still remember
this tsunami of flames, when I proposed this maybe a year ago at the
spas list. But I guess people in Germany generally are very interested
in kid safe internet.
And they are interested in an alternative to the growing
commercialization of childhood. There was an interesting headline on
"Die Zeit" last week. Software and "learning" content for children is
an incredibly growing market at the moment and it is about time to
offer something not interested in increasing sales and cross sales in
this market, but keeping children and their education in the eye. It
is time for sugar.
There is another interesting project in my pipeline right now. Had a
talk with someone at public children TV here in Germany. They are
about to produce a new format for children building networks with
other children around the world - in my opinion it shouts for sugar
and olpc deployments already in place. I scheduled a meeting for
beginning of november to get more details on this. Let you know then.
At the moment I am busy setting up the needed organization for all
this - I am about to open up a non-profit company to cover this. I
also thought about an association or foundation, but the procedures
for it and decision finding later are much more complicated. I would
love to call it "sugarlabs Deutschland" and therefore apply again for
approbation  as a local lab for Germany.
Best regards and until friday then,
Raffael Reichelt
SLOBs mailing list
SLOBs at lists.sugarlabs.org

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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