[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2012-02-23

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Thu Feb 23 03:29:02 EST 2012

== Sugar Digest ==

Quote of the week: Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. --
John Cotton Dana

1. Sugar in Sri Lanka? In late 2007 I had had some meetings with the
Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States about launching an OLPC
program.  But I lost touch after I left OLPC to start Sugar Labs. I
had heard that at least some small number of laptops had gone to Sri
Lanka, but I wasn't aware of any detail. But tonight I saw an article
written by Dharma Sri Abeyratne in the Sri Lanka News describing an
on-going project that sounds quite interesting: "The Colombo
University Information Technology Faculty and open source software
developers have supported the software developing process. Over 850
software programmes relating to the curriculum from year one to five
is issued with the laptops." I can only assume they are talking about
Sugar. Over 850 software programs? Are these Sugar activities? Many
would be new to me. Does anyone know whom to contact to find out more
about what they are doing at Colombo University?

2. I was in Peru last week and had an opportunity to meet with the new
head of the DIGETE program there. Sandro Marcone has a passion for
learning that is immediately evident. I am encouraged that good things
will happen in Peru under his leadership. One topic we discussed was
more community engagement. As part of the plan for one laptop per
child in Peru going forward is more of an emphasis on regional
responsibility for the project. This is synergistic with the community
efforts in Puno and will hopefully resonate in more regions as well.
Kiko Momayorga hosted a gathering at Escuelab to discuss community
engagement more deeply. It was a chance for me to meet Anita Say Chan,
Juan Camilo Lema, and Neyder Achahuanco Apaza (Laura Vargas and
Sebastian Silva were there virtually from Bogata, where they were
celebrating their daughter's first birthday). I also had a chance to
meet with 300+ teachers attending a workshop organized by Hernan
Pachas. They were very engaged, even though our meeting was at the
very end of a long week. They seemed very excited by some of the new
directions we have been pushing Sugar -- most of them are still
running Sugar 0.84. They seemed particularly taken by the work we have
done in enhancing the tools for reflection, including the Portfolio
activity. It looks like 2012 will be the year we really see things
pick up in Peru.

3. A quick reminder: Google Summer of Code (GSoC) [1] is gearing up
for 2012. It is a nice opportunity to get some new developers on
board. As a community, we need to get ourselves organized:
specifically, over the next few weeks, '''we need to identify
potential projects that might attract interns to apply to Sugar
Labs.''' I've set up a page in the wiki for aggregating project ideas
[2]. Anyone in the community is welcome to make suggestions regarding
a project that you think would make Sugar a better platform. (Projects
that are relatively self-contained tend to be better for GSoC since
their is a finite window in which to work on it.)

If you are interesting in being a mentor, please contact me. Also,
please encourage any talented university students you may know to
apply to the program. Applications are not due until late March, but
it is best to start the conversation sooner than later. (Note that
applications submitted to Google must be made in English, but
mentoring can happen in any language, e.g., Spanish. We will gladly
help potential applicants with their proposals even if English is
their first language.)

=== In the community ===

4. We celebrated International Mother Language Day on February 21 [3].
Chris Leonard reports that Daniska Navin, a frequent contributor to
the Translation Team, used the celebration as an opportunity to help
recruit translators for FOSS projects and Sugar in particular.[4]

5. There will be a OLPC/Sugar documentation sprint from April 6-10 at
the OLPC headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Please contact Adam
Holt if you are interested in participating, either in person or on

6. There will be an eduJAM! in the  week of May 7-12 in Montevideo.
Details to follow.

7. The week following eduJAM! will be a Squeakfest, also in Montevideo
(May 16-18).

=== Tech Talk ===

8. The ever determined and talented Daniel Drake has released a new
school server image, XS-0.7 Ometepe [5]. Ometepe [6] is an island in
the center of Nicaragua that is being saturated with OLPC laptops by
the Zamora Foundation this week. Daniel made a new release of the
server to deploy as part of this effort. Details regarding
installation can be found at [7].

9. Stefan Unterhauser and Bernie Innocenti have updated our servers as
part of a move to a new co-location site (The MIT Media Lab is
graciously hosting our servers now). Stefan reported earlier this
week: "Looks like all services are back again ... pootle took a while
longer :)" Many thanks to Stefan, Bernie, and the NecSys group at the
Media Lab. Plus a tip of the hat to Joichi Ito, who gave us the green

=== Sugar Labs ===

Gary Martin has generated SOMs from the past few weeks of discussion
on the IAEP mailing list:

2012 Feb 11th-17th (38 emails) [8]
2012 Feb 4th-10th (51 emails) [9]

Visit our planet [10] for more updates about Sugar and Sugar deployments.


[1] http://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/homepage/google/gsoc2012
[2] http://www.sugarlabs.org/go/Summer_of_Code/2012
[3] http://www.un.org/en/events/motherlanguageday/
[4] http://bit.ly/Az2WXm
[5] http://dev.laptop.org/xs/OLPC-School-Server-0.7-i386.iso
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ometepe
[7] http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XS_Installing_Software_0.7
[8] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2012-Feb-11-17-som.jpg
[9] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2012-Feb-4-10-som.jpg
[10] http://planet.sugarlabs.org


Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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