[IAEP] Introduction: teacher interested in SOAS

John Tierney jtis4stx at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 20 13:50:55 EST 2012

Hi John,

I would say your summary is pretty well on target 
taking into account Peter's comments and the continued 
improvements he has been making with each SoaS release. 
I would be happy to have a conversation with you on Skype 
or phone and give you some ideas on how you might want to 
approach the local Universities to establish relationships in Computer 
Science and Education schools to build up a support system. I think
you mentioned your in Philadelphia so Temple and Drexel would be 
great options as well as the other smaller schools.

I have been collaborating with Dr. Kevin Brooks and his Great Fargo 
project since its inception. I met Kevin at the Computers and Writing 
Conference at Purdue in 2010, where I helped put on a Sugar  Workshop 
with Dr. Gerald Ardito, and Walter Bender who joined via Skype. In turn I 
joined Kevin and his graduate student Chris Lindgren at the University of 
Michigan at Computers&Writing 2011 for another Sugar Workshop.

I think this would be a great place for you to talk about the education 
portions of the project,for the technical questions/issues and updates 
on that front the Soas list would be best.

It's Great to see you trying to help out your learners in this manner.
Let me know if I can be of assistance.

John Tierney
Skype: jt4sugar

> From: john at johnlandis.net
> Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2012 13:10:41 -0500
> To: iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org
> Subject: Re: [IAEP] Introduction: teacher interested in SOAS
> 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?
> -John
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