[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2012-03-22

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Thu Mar 22 14:49:36 EDT 2012

== Sugar Digest ==

1. I spent last week in Miami participating in a "vacation camp" at
the Holmes Elementary School [1] in Liberty City [2] for 3rd and 4th
graders. The camp was organized by David Jessep and participants
include Melissa Henriquez, Reuben Caron, Dan Lee, and Claudia Urrea.
The Holmes laptop program, which is sponsored by the Knight
Foundation, is challenging in that the school had been under
performing by the Florida state metrics, so the typical class day is
now quite structured. So there is very little unscheduled classroom
time. The vacation camp presented an opportunity for the children to
spend some informal time with their laptops and, for the first time,
bring them home.

Melissa ran a Scratch workshop while I ran--no surprise--a Turtle Art
workshop. In both workshops, the children were given a few warm-up
exercises and then set off in small groups to do projects of their own
choosing. For the Turtle Art group, I had them do the usual: one child
volunteered to be the turtle and the other children instructed it in
how to move about the room. Then they explored the turtle, pen, and
color palettes. In our second session, I introduced a few new locks,
including some of the multimedia and sensor blocks. We then designed
an alarm clock of sorts: the children helped each other use the Record
activity to take a picture pretending to be sleeping and a second
picture, with a started from sleep expression. They taught their
turtles to display the "asleep" pictures and then polled the loudness
block, waiting for a conditional block to be triggered by a loud
sound. At this point, the "startled awake" picture was displayed.

>From there, the children went in many different directions, but one
theme, dance, spread throughout the group. They began taking pictures
of themselves in different dance positions and then using Turtle Art
to animate their moves. Some of them incorporated sound and additional
turtle graphics. One child, taking his own path, used sensors from the
WeDo to control the speed of a motor. All of them wrote about their
work in their Journals and used the Portfolio activity to make
presentations to their parents at the end of the week. Pretty awesome

2. For reasons yet to be determined, once again we were turned down
for Google Summer of Code.

=== In the community ===

3. 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

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

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

=== Tech Talk ===

6. There is a new Etoys release candidate (5.0.2402 candidate 1)
available for download [3]. Enhancements of note include:
* single stepping in scripts
* "attached watchers" following the object
* graph paper and number lines
* a scriptable calendar
* a sector object (e.g. for pie charts)
* ScratchConnect allows to connect Etoys and Scratch

Congratulations to Bert and the Etoys team!!

7. Aleksey Lim announced the latest in community-driven downstream
Sugar distributions: Hexoquinasa [4], which is being tested in Puno
[5]. Aleksey summarized the goals of the project as:
* The possibility to launch Base Software in heterogeneous software
and hardware environments.
* Using Base Software, provide access to various Content (Sugar
activities, artifacts created by Sugar activities, books, etc.)
created within the Sugar community.
* Using Base Software, provide collaborative functionality to support
Social activity around the Content.
* Instruments and workflows to adapt Content and Base Software to
specific needs that Sugar Deployment might face, including extreme
ones like off-line environments and restricting hardware.

=== Sugar Labs ===

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

2012 Mar 10-Mar 16th (36 emails) [6]
2012 Mar 3rd-Mar 9th (69 emails) [7]
2012 Feb 25th-Mar 2nd (27 emails) [8]
2012 Feb 18th-24th (9 emails) [9]

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


[1] http://blog.laptop.org/2012/01/27/olpc-and-knight-foundation-launch-digital-literacy-program-in-miami-school/
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_City
[3] http://download.sugarlabs.org/sources/sucrose/glucose/etoys/etoys-5.0.2402.tar.gz
[4] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Platform_Team/Harmonic_Distribution
[5] http://pe.sugarlabs.org/go/Proyecto_Piloto_Hexoquinasa
[6] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2012-Mar-10-16-som.jpeg
[7] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2012-March-3-9-som.jpg
[8] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2012-Feb-25-Mar-2-som.jpg
[9] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:2012-Feb-18-24-som.jpg
[10] http://planet.sugarlabs.org

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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