[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2012-10-06

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Sat Oct 6 15:41:59 EDT 2012

== Sugar Digest ==

1. Assessment is a topic that comes up again and again in discussions
of Sugar. While there are several efforts under way to gather
statistics about activity usage (See [1, 2] and [3], for example),
most of those efforts are in service of everyone except the learner.
In the spirit of "making learning visible", I modified an existing
activity, Analyze Journal [4], written by Agustin Zubiaga Sanchez, in
order give the Sugar user some feedback about their activity usage.
Agustin had written the original activity to show free space in the
Journal. I added two more views: one that displays a list of
activities sorted by frequency of use; and one that shows statistics
about block usage in Turtle Art activities. (The latter is based on a
rubric developed jointly with Pacita Pena from Paraguayu Educa and
Claudia Urrea from OLPC.) I am hoping that Analyze Journal and
Portfolio (a previous effort to make learning visible) inspire the
Sugar community to put more effort not just into gathering data for
school administrators, but also in making reflection by the learners
themselves part of the Sugar experience.

One further note regarding Analyze Journal. I'd blogged recently about
how youths who had grown up with Sugar were beginning to submit
patches. In this case, the roles have reversed completely: I submitted
the patch to Agustin.

2. In the keeping with spirit of the above discussion, a new datastore
metadata tag [5] has landed in Sugar 0.98. The "launch-times" tag is
updated whenever an activity is launched. This will enable the learner
to answer questions such as "how often have I used this activity?";
"do I use it in class, at home, or both?" Again, the goal is not to
subsume the functionality potentially provided by [2], but to make the
data available within Sugar itself more rich.

3. There has been a discussion on the IAEP list [6] about various
strategies for using Turtle Blocks in support of robotics. The LEGO
WeDo was discussed as one of several options currently available. It
got me thinking that it may be time to finally add support for
multiple WeDo devices. It is still beta, but please test the latest
wedo_plugin [7]. In addition to supporting multiple devices, it also
is a bit more robust in regard to plugging in and removing devices
while the program is running. (In the first version of the code, the
device had to be plugged in when Turtle Blocks launched. Now devices
can be added and removed while Turtle Blocks is running.)

=== In the community ===

4. There are plans to hold the next OLPC SF summit in San Francisco
the weekend of October 19-21. We are holding a Sugar Camp
''following'' the summit (Oct 22-24). Please register at [8].

=== Sugar Labs ===

Visit our planet [9] for more updates about Sugar and Sugar deployments.


Walter Bender
Sugar Labs


[1] http://git.sugarlabs.org/desktop/stats
[2] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Platform_Team/Usage_Statistics
[3] http://git.sugarlabs.org/ds-analysis-scripts
[4] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Activities/Analyze_Journal
[5] http://git.sugarlabs.org/sugar-toolkit-gtk3/sugar-toolkit-gtk3/commit/2a15fbc0f2269b1d61e5fa8ea723cb4848a8ee74
[6] http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/iaep/2012-October/015642.html
[7] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/images/0/00/Wedo_plugin_2.tar.gz
[8] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugarcamp_SF_2012
[9] http://planet.sugarlabs.org

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