[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2012-06-10

Yamandu Ploskonka yamaplos at gmail.com
Mon Jun 11 09:28:30 EDT 2012

oh my dear Walter...
I must apologize.
I thought my track record was clear enough, at least with you, that I 
would not be understood to consider Windows "real software", unless it 
were as a parody/sarcasm. My bad. I hope that the lesson is learned, and 
that going forward I will tag things better.

Yet, I am mildly peeved that you would think our "disagreement" is about 
the value of keyboarding or how to launch Internet Explorer. ;-)

JFTR it has to do more with the evidence that what is useful for 
"learning", but not useful for "using", has very little "value".
In this context, were it that the XOs are perceived as "useful", they 
would be "valuable", whether S.Papert is present or not, and whether 
such usefulness is in updating Facebook.

Maybe you have lesser awareness that, for less privileged people, 
"learning" seldom is seen, or valued, as something convertible into 
food, shoes, or lodging, and certainly not done for fun? Which, of 
course, is a shame, but that's the way it is.

I may be mistaken, but I have sort of a strong feeling that most people 
will appreciate, and use, and value, and keep using, and learn despite 
themselves and their own limitations, in a medium they do not label as 
connected to "school". Which, even limited as they are, they regard with 
some justification as a mostly content-free environment, just a series 
of hoops to some privilege and an exit from manual labor.

As long as XOs are seen at the same level as last year's classroom 
notebooks, they will fare as well.
Meaning, a few, very, very few, will find some actual use and benefit, 
"value" in them.
Now, if they are useful for something...  Different paradigm!

(kudos for Gnome! BTW, I had been pushing for some XO-based 
microcontroller work - http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/OLPC_XO-1 
as part of eat-my-own-catfood in enabling the XO for real-world use)
(last weekend I was at a local (Austin, Texas, USA) High School track. 
Nearby were the dumpsters. End-of-the-year dumpsters. Since it probably 
does not happen that way in Boston, let me indicate that here they were 
overflowing with "learning" materials. Pricy stuff, not necessarily 
useful, but what passes as education in these parts.)

On 06/11/2012 07:09 AM, Walter Bender wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 7:48 AM, Yamandu Ploskonka<yamaplos at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> Hope you are recuperating from such fun :-)
>> Question,
>> are these teacher using XOs as *their* primary tool to access internet,
>> Facebook, etc?
> I don't know. I did not see any teacher use any other computer all
> week. But that said, most of them said that they used Facebook
> regularly, and since they hadn't used an XO or Sugar before, it would
> seem that they used computers other than XO in the past as their
> "primary* computer. Whether or not their *primary* computer was at an
> Internet cafe is yet another question.
>> That would be, IMNSHO, enormously meaningful in their "buy in".
>> The XO is either a real tool, or else perceived as a "toy" vs. the real tool
>> that is used by the teachers, obviously with real grown-up software, such as
>> Windows.
> We can continue to disagree about what is "real grown-up software." I
> cannot think of the last time I used Windows, and yet I think I have
> managed to get few things accomplished, both professionally and
> socially. These "toys" come with GNOME as well as Sugar and, for
> example, in response to a question about tools for creating images: We
> wrote a paint program together in Turtle Art, and discussed the range
> of possibilities from the Paint activity to using Inkscape. But I
> digress, because while I agree, it is important that the teachers see
> Sugar/XO as a real tool, a large part of what we achieved in
> Chachapoyas is that they have a more clear idea of what is a real tool
> *for learning* and that there is more to learning with technology than
> learning how to keyboard or launch Internet Explorer. But you and I
> have a long-standing disagreement on this point.
> regards.
> -walter
>> On 06/10/2012 06:23 PM, Walter Bender wrote:
>>> 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.

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