[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] Sugar Digest 2012-06-10

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Sun Jun 10 22:08:39 EDT 2012

On Sun, Jun 10, 2012 at 9:57 PM, Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com> wrote:
> 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?

I don't know.

> 3) Did the teachers receive a stipend? Certificate?

I don't know re stipend, but they did get a certificate.


> Caryl
>> 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
>> _______________________________________________
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>> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
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Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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