[IAEP] Introduction: teacher interested in SOAS

Peter Robinson pbrobinson at gmail.com
Tue Nov 20 13:20:58 EST 2012

On Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 6:10 PM, John Landis <john at johnlandis.net> wrote:
> 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?

No, it's not. It's been used in a number of school environments that
I'm aware of quite successfully in a number of different countries.

> 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).

That's basically it, it certainly isn't without it's quirks but it
generally works pretty well.

I'm the lead developer for SoaS.


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