[IAEP] Introduction: teacher interested in SOAS

John Landis john at johnlandis.net
Tue Nov 20 13:10:41 EST 2012

Thanks so much for the warm welcome.  Particularly to Patricio,
Harriet, and Kevin for sharing such fascinating links.

If it's okay, I'm going to use this list as a sounding board for my
thoughts as I explore Sugar.  Again, if there's a better place for
this type of thing, please let me know!

So far, I'm getting the impression that Sugar on A Stick is more or
less limited to experimental university-school partnerships, and
hasn't yet reached a phase of wide deployment in the hands of schools.
 Is this an accurate assessment?

The reason I'm interested in SOAS is that I work in the traditional
"computer lab" setting that is so familiar in K12 schools in the US.
This setting has a lot of restrictions and drawbacks.  A big one is
that, even though the students are surrounded by computers in my lab,
and to varying degrees at home, they have no opportunity to take
ownership of these devices.  They can't monkey about with the precious
computers that we adults see as far to precious to fully hand over to
children.  A very basic symptom of this is that the students simply
can't save their work.  A save dialog box on most computers is very
difficult to learn for the uninitiated.  Add to this that all files
which don't make it onto a shared network or USB drive are basically
instantly lost given the shared nature of school computers.  If the
kids can't do something as simple as save a piece of writing, the
computer is far less useful than a notebook.

In this light, SOAS looks very appealing.  The promise of handing a
student their own _persistant_ computer where they are free to explore
is exactly what I've been looking for. (to say nothing of sugar's
"Journal" which I think is a brilliant answer to the above problem).

I'm curious, how do my motivations match up with how you guys think about sugar?


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