[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2012-06-10

Caryl Bigenho cbigenho at hotmail.com
Sun Jun 10 21:57:21 EDT 2012

Hi Walter,
Sounds like a great trip and a very complete workshop. I have a few questions...
1) Were the teachers to go back and train other teachers at their schools? (the Triple T format... Teachers Training Teachers)
2) Were the teachers' expenses covered? 
3) Did the teachers receive a stipend? Certificate?

> Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2012 19:23:19 -0400
> From: walter.bender at gmail.com
> To: community-news at lists.sugarlabs.org
> CC: iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org; sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
> Subject: [IAEP] Sugar Digest 2012-06-10
> == Sugar Digest ==
> 1. The typical trip from Lima to Chachapoyas [1], Amazonas involves
> flying and bus travel. A common way point is the city of Chiclayo, on
> Peru's north coast. We (myself, Melissa Henriquez (OLPC), Reuben Caron
> (OLPC), Raul Hugo (Escuelab), and Alexander Moñuz (Escuelab)) had a
> several hours before our bus, so we took a walk through a sea of taxi
> cabs and a cacophony of car horns. It reminded me of Lima from five or
> six years ago: too many cars and drivers not yet acclimated to the
> culture of driving. Lima, in contrast, while still overwhelmed by too
> many cars and buses, seems tranquil by comparison: the culture of
> driving has caught up with the increased availability of the
> technology of driving. Yet another example of Papert's observation
> that change is never a technology in isolation; it always has a
> cultural component. A goal of our week in Chachapoyas was to help
> shape the change in the culture of learning in Amazonas as more
> technology is made available to teachers and children in the region.
> The bus ride was only eight hours: better than the alternative, thirty
> hours from direct Lima. Once the poorly dubbed B-movies stopped
> playing on a television inconveniently placed inches from my face
> stopped playing, I managed to get some sleep, despite the incessant
> swaying of the bus as it snaked its way through the Andes. We arrived
> at 6 Sunday morning to a sleepy town, built in the traditional style:
> a grid with a central plaza. We had decided to use our one free day to
> explore Kuélap, an ancient city another 2.5 hours from Chachapoyas, so
> we didn't even manage a cup of coffee before heading up some even more
> winding roads.
> Kuélap [2] was settled at least 1500 years ago. It is an extensive
> ruin on top of a 3000-meter peak. The most characteristic artifacts
> are the circular foundations of the houses, packed together in a tight
> matrix. Diamond-shaped patterns, reminiscent of snake skin were
> frequent sights [3].
> When we got back to town, we discovered that coincident with our
> week-long teacher-training workshop was a week-long festival,
> celebrating both the revolution against Spanish rule and some ancient
> traditions regarding inviting the coming solstice. It meant parades
> and firecrackers at sunrise, and music each evening. The rhythm of
> week was established: breakfast at 7; at the workshop by 8; an early
> dinner at 7; evening sessions beginning at 8:30; and dancing from 11
> to 1 AM. The music and dancing offered an opportunity to get to know
> the teachers outside of the workshop. It was also an opportunity to
> observe some of the local ways. Most notable to me was the way in
> which the crowds organized themselves: tight circles of 10 to 15
> people. If you took an aerial photograph of the festival, you'd see
> the same circle patterns as we had just seen in Kuelap. Sometimes a
> culture expresses itself in unexpected ways.
> Monday morning, we were joined by Elver Guillermo (our host), Alex
> Santivanez (DIGETE), and Jorge Parra (DIGETE) (Alex and Jorge arrived
> from Lima that morning). And 60 teachers from across six different
> regions from Amazonas. We began the week with a question: "how do you
> use XO/Sugar for learning?" It was no surprise that most teachers
> answer with, "No sé." Even the few that had had some minimal
> experience with the XO answered with mundane themes, such as doing
> research on the Internet. We asked the same question at the end of the
> week, and although I haven't seen the survey results, I am certain
> that the teachers expressed a wealth of ideas around communication and
> expression, math, science, and the arts. We also asked the teachers if
> and where they hung out on-line. Almost all of them were Facebook
> users, so Raul set up a Facebook group,
> [http://www.facebook.com/groups/370964266297045/ Amazonas XO], for
> them to use as a forum for sharing experiences.
> At the end of a day using Write, Record, Fototoons, Memorize, Mind
> Maps (Labyrinth) and Paint, we introduced the teachers to Portfolio,
> and they created their first reflections on the week. That evening, I
> reviewed the variety of Sugar activities available and introduced the
> Sugar concept of the "gear": the invitation of create your own variant
> of an activity. I also showed them a new Sugar activity I wrote Sunday
> night after visiting Kuelap: Amazonas Tortuga [4], a variant on Turtle
> Confusion that uses images from the region. A long day "drinking from
> a fire hose." Time for some music and dancing. A party in a different
> barrio each night.
> On Day Two, we did sessions of Turtle Art and Scratch. Melissa and
> split the groups into two. My first group of Turtlistas made rapid
> progress from pretending to be a turtle in the courtyard of the
> school, dragging a piece of chalk when "pen down", to mastering Stacks
> (Accions) and Boxes (Cajas). The second group, which had been working
> in Scratch for three hours, struggled with the programming concepts of
> Turtle Art. On the other hand, Melissa reported that the group that
> had used Turtle Art soared in Scratch class, much more will to
> explore. We still need controls: Scratch followed by Scratch and
> Turtle Art followed by Turtle Art, but it seems that using Turtle Art
> before Scratch helps Scratch proficiency while using Scratch before
> Turtle Art impedes Turtle Art proficiency. It is worth looking more
> deeply into this.
> The evening class was dedicated to programming. We began by looking
> into a bug in Labyrinth encountered by the teachers that day. I showed
> them how to access the Log activity and look for errors in the log. We
> discussed the error message, a ValueError and took note of the file
> name and line number. Next, I introduced View Source. We found the
> line in the code responsible for the error, and I discussed the
> reasons for the error: simple_scale wants integer rather than float
> input. We also discussed casting floats to ints as a potential
> solution. Next: we used the Duplicate function of View Source to make
> a clone of Labyrinth in which to apply our patch. Using JAMEdit to
> edit the file, we were able to fix the bug. Finally, I showed them the
> bug-tracking system and walked them through the process of writing a
> ticket. By that time, it was late and the concert had begun, so I only
> quickly reviewed the merits of Free Software -- I imagine we would
> still be on hold with the Microsoft call center -- and described the
> process of using git -- and commit messages -- to manage software
> development.
> Wednesday morning, Melissa, Raul, and Alex demonstrated sensors on the
> XO, in Scratch, Turtle Art, and with WeDo. Alex and I built a WeDo
> project using found materials in Turtle Art, while Raul showed how to
> make sensors to use with the XO mic-in. Much of the rest of the day
> was dedicated to technical issues: servers, updates, etc. Reuben and
> Jorge walked the teachers through these topics and then issued a
> screwdriver to each teacher, who used it to disassemble and reassemble
> their laptops. Not casualties. A second portfolio was created and
> uploaded to the School Server before heading out to the festival. We
> partied with the teachers from UGEL Rodríguez de Mendoza.
> Thursday, Alex and Melissa focused on curriculum development with
> Sugar. Alex described a process by which one could develop a
> curriculum unit and the teacher, broken into groups, designed
> curricula around the themes of communication and math. Thursday night,
> Raul, Alex, Elver and I stayed late to help teachers with their
> projects. One problem was posed by a teacher who wanted to write a
> program for inputting numbers and rendering them different colors
> based on magnitude. We got into an interesting discussion about how to
> represent the concept of magnitude as it relates to place when writing
> numbers. For example, to write the number, 123 from left to right,
> first you right 1, then you write 2, but that immediately changes the
> meaning of the 1. It is suddenly a ten. Writing 3 means that the 1
> becomes 100 and the 2 becomes 20. While programming this in Turtle Art
> is not difficult, it was an interesting exercise, because it forced
> the teacher to think about how we represent numbers.
> Friday was a day for show-and-tell. In the morning, the teachers made
> presentations of their curriculum plans. In the afternoon, Alex
> arranged a project fair, where each teacher chose one project to show
> off to their peers. Finally, a third portfolio for the week. Then
> photos, lots of them, and goodbyes. I had an opportunity to discuss
> our progress with several officials from the region over coffee Friday
> morning. They seemed both encouraged by the progress made by the
> teachers and the sentiment that the next workshop should be led by
> people from the region, not just attended by people from the region.
> An important step towards appropriation.
> Before getting on the overnight bus back to Chiclayo, Jorge gave me a
> file with images of Peruvian Soles, so I was able write a Soles plug
> in for Turtle Art [5] on the overnight bus ride. (Again, I could not
> sleep due to the movie playing inches from my face.) Raul, who was
> sitting a few rows back from me, joined a shared Turtle Art session
> and we stumbled upon a new use for a well-worn activity: chat. By
> sharing text with the Show block (and as of TurtleBlocks-144 [6],
> text-to-speech with the Speak block), you can engage in an interactive
> chat or forum, which includes sharing of pictures and graphics. What
> fun.
> There had been the threat of a delay due to landslide, but the road
> was cleared and we arrived back in Chiclayo at 6AM. We walked a few
> blocks to a restaurant know for its fresh ceviche where we enjoyed the
> food and sights. Then back to Lima, where I gave a trip report to a
> gathering at Escuelab. (I used the Portfolio tool to make an annotated
> slide show, which I projected from an XO.) Then back to the airport in
> time to see the Boston Celtics lose Game 7 to the Miami Heat. A flight
> to Miami, a quick connection to Boston, and home again.
> 2. While I was in Lima, I got another chance to meet with Irma Alvarez
> and Aymar Ccopacatty. I gave Irma an XO on which to test her Quecha
> translations. Her translations of Turtle Art landed while  was in
> Chachapoyas, which was nice to be able to report to the teachers
> there.
> With help from Reuben we guided her through the process of installing
> language packs [7]:
>     1. with Browse, download the .sh of the language you wish to install;
>     2. copy the file from the Journal to ~/Documents by drag and drop
> in the Journal view;
>     3. From terminal,
>  cd ~/Documents
>  sh ??_lang_pack_v2.sh
>       where ?? should be replaced by the language code of the file you
> downloaded;
>     4. Restart Sugar.
> 3. Peter Robinson announced Sugar on a Stick 7 (Quandong).
> Many thanks to Peter and the Sugar and Fedora communities.
> From Peter's email:
> Some of the key new features of this release include:
> * Based on Fedora 17 and it's new features
> * Massively improved x86 Mac support
> * Sugar 0.96 with initial support for GTK3 Activities and many other
> improvements
> * Return of Browse, now based on WebKit
> * The long awaited return of Read and inclusion of GetBooks
> * Enhanced hardware support with the 3.3 kernel
> * An increase in default Activities by nearly 50%
> The release name, Quandong, continues the tradition of naming releases
> by types of fruit. The Quandong or Native Peach is a native Australian
> bushfood.
> You can download the release from [8]. It can also be installed as
> part of a standard Fedora 17 install and is shipped as part of the
> official Fedora installer DVD and the Fedora Multi Spin Live DVD. It
> can also be installed from the GUI package tool within a running
> Fedora install or by command line:
>  sudo yum install @sugar-desktop
> === Sugar Labs ===
> Visit our planet [9] for more updates about Sugar and Sugar deployments.
> ----
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chachapoyas,_Peru
> [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuelap
> [3] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/17/Building_ruins_of_Kuelap.jpg
> [4] http://activities.sugarlabs.org/en-US/sugar/addon/4585/
> [5] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/images/5/52/Soles.tar.gz
> [6] http://activities.sugarlabs.org/en-US/sugar/addon/4027
> [7] http://translate.sugarlabs.org/langpacks/
> [8] http://spins.fedoraproject.org/soas/
> [9] http://planet.sugarlabs.org
> -walter
> -- 
> Walter Bender
> Sugar Labs
> http://www.sugarlabs.org
> _______________________________________________
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
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