[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] Sugar Digest 2012-10-27

Ignacio Rodríguez nachoel01 at gmail.com
Sun Oct 28 06:43:51 EDT 2012

Thanks Walter! +1 To the idea of ​​code-in!

2012/10/27 Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com>

> On the unspoken truth behind the education system
> Calvin: As you can see, I have memorized this utterly useless piece of
> information long enough to pass a test question. I now intend to
> forget it forever. You’ve taught me nothing except how to cynically
> manipulate the system. Congratulations. -- Bill Watterson
> == Sugar Digest ==
> 1. Akarsh Sanghi asked me some questions about computing for a survey
> he is conducting. I thought I would share some of my answers here.
> ;How do you think future technologies in the field of human-computer
> interaction (HCI) affect the daily lives of people? [In context of the
> rapture of interactive and touch based devices like the iPhone &
> iPad]: I think that HCI has little impact. Yes, things arguably get
> easier to use, but ease of use is not the gating factor in the use of
> these devices. It is access and utility. Also, it is important to note
> that very few of the touch-based interfaces represent advances in HCI.
> These are old ideas (most from the 1970s) that are only finally
> becoming commercially viable.
> ;How do you think interactive technologies affect the learning process
> in primary education? Will these form of technologies help to expand
> the horizon of a child growing up in practically a virtual world?:
> Well, somewhat in contradiction to my previous answer, touch does make
> a difference to very young children, for whom hand-eye coordination is
> still an issue. As far as learning, I am skeptical of the premise that
> the virtual world is particularly relevant. I think the character of
> the tasks the children engage in is far more important than the
> technology. The advantage of some small subset of the technology is
> that facilitates engaging children in authentic open-ended problem
> solving. Making worksheets electronic games is a complete waste of
> time (although it may help the children pass an exam to measure how
> quickly they can do worksheets.)
> ;As a part of the Sugar Labs community, I would like to ask you where
> does it stand in the future?: Sugar, the learning platform developed
> and maintained by the Sugar Labs community, is about giving children
> an opportunity to use technologies to engage in authentic open-ended
> problem solving. We'll continue down this path, trying to reach more
> children in more contexts (laptops, desktops, phones, tablets, etc.)
> ;Sugar Labs and the OLPC projects are primarily targeted towards
> developing nations and their education system, do you think the
> education system in a country like America should also be put under
> consideration and be directed more towards a student’s own creative
> thought process?: Sugar Labs is trying reach children everywhere:
> north or south, rich or poor. We have programs in every corner of the
> globe.
> ;Every time while discussing OLPC, one hears about Constructionism. Is
> the Constructionist approach a guiding or necessary aspect of
> distributing laptops to children for learning? For designing an
> interface for them? Why or why not?: Constructionism is completely
> orthogonal to the problem of distributing laptops. But not to the
> problem of using laptops for learning. (This is where Mr. Negroponte
> and I differed in our approach.) You can give a child a laptop and
> they will learn to use it (See my answer to the first question), but
> will they learn to use it for learning? Not likely unless we craft an
> environment in which they are encouraged to “imagine and realize,
> critique and reflect, and iterate.” That is a constructionist
> environment.
> ;How do you think Seymour Papert’s theory of constructionism should be
> applied in the today’s time? Should people be involved in developing
> tangible objects in the real world to understand concepts or follow
> experiential learning processes to gain insight into the world around
> them?: Not sure what you mean by “tangible objects”. I think more in
> terms of authentic problems. Some of those problems may be tangible.
> ;How do you think Electronic Publishing is evolving with the rapid
> development of reading devices like iPad, NOOK, Kindle and the major
> use of ebooks?: To me, the interesting questions are more along the
> lines of: Who will write books? What will be the relationship between
> reading and writing? What is the future of copyright and the
> commercialization of writing.
> ;Do you think in the near future this kind of electronic publishing
> will hamper the growth of children as they will be devoid of
> physically reading a book and understand the values that come along
> with it?: I think that the difference is not so much paper vs plastic;
> but rather, to what extent does an electronic interface afford the
> freedom to write and share margin notes (or the books themselves) to
> engage in personal expression, etc. The physicality of electronic
> media is not the issue.
> ;In context of the famous phrase by Marshal McLuhan, “medium is the
> message”, how do you think technology will evolve in the coming years?
> All forms of communication and information will be the material itself
> rather than a separate physical device.: McLuhan was wrong. The
> message is the message. We use different media to deliver it, more or
> less intact.
> 2. Sugar Labs is applying to Google Code-in (GCI), "a contest for
> pre-university students (e.g., high school and secondary school
> students) with the goal of encouraging young people to participate in
> open source."
> Why we are applying? Sugar is written and maintained by volunteers,
> who range from seasoned professionals to children as young as 12-years
> of age. Children who have grown up with Sugar have transitioned from
> Sugar users to Sugar App developers to Sugar maintainers. They hang
> out on IRC with the global Sugar developer community and are
> full-fledged members of the Sugar development team. It is this latter
> group of children we hope will participate in and benefit from Google
> Code-in. Specifically we want to re-enforce the message that Sugar
> belongs to its users and that they have both ownership and the
> responsibility that ownership implies. Just as learning is not
> something done to you, but something you do, learning with Sugar
> ultimately means participating in the Sugar development process. At
> Sugar Labs, we are trying to bring the culture of Free Software into
> the culture of school. So the Code-in is not just an opportunity for
> us to get some tasks accomplished, it is quintessential to our overall
> mission.
> Learn more about GCI [1] and the Sugar Labs GCI effort [2].
> 3. Agustin Zubiaga Sanchez noted that last week we passed the
> threshold of more than eight million activities downloaded from the
> Sugar Labs activity portal [3]. I echo his sentiment that "I'm very
> glad to be a sugarlabs developer. Congratulations to all the team :)"
> === In the community ===
> 4. Last weekend was the OLPC SF summit [4] in San Francisco, which was
> followed by a three-day Sugar Camp. Although I missed opening day, Day
> Two was quite interesting in that there was a lot of good discussion
> about how to sustain and grow the various volunteer-run OLPC/Sugar
> deployments. At Sugar Camp, although not much code was written, there
> was an opportunity to get tangible and actionable feedback from the
> likes of Mark Bradley (we pushed hard on Turtle Art as a multimedia
> toolkit). I also had the opportunity to catch up with Raul Gutierrez
> Segales, Ivan Krstić, and others.
> === Tech Talk ===
> 5. The little coding I did do in San Francisco was in support of
> migrating more activities to touch. Specifically, I worked on
> integrating the on-screen keyboard into several of my activities:
> Portfolio and Turtle Blocks. The challenge was that I was using
> key-press events directly, rather than accessing them through a GTK
> widget such as a Entry or TextView. With help from Raul, I managed to
> get things working pretty well: basically, I just drop a TextView
> widget under the cursor where I expect keyboard input. The details are
> outlined here [5]. I'm generally pleased with the results, but there
> is a bit of fine-tuning of the interaction, e.g, you need to defocus
> the TextView in order to dismiss it: not such a burden, but at times,
> somewhat awkward.
> 6. Ignacio Rodriguez has been on a tear, helping me to migrate
> activities to GTK 3. Over the past week, we converted: Card Sort,
> Cookie Search, Color Deducto, Deducto, Flip, Fraction Bounce, Loco
> Sugar, Napier's Bones, Nutrition, Paths, Pukllananpac, Recall,
> Reflection, GNUChess, Sliderule, Story, Yupana, and XO Editor. I also
> worked with Agustin Zubiaga on Portfolio, Flavio Denesse on Ruler, and
> Daniel Francis on Turtle Blocks. Whew.
> === Sugar Labs ===
> Visit our planet [6] for more updates about Sugar and Sugar deployments.
> -walter
> [1]
> http://www.google-melange.com/gci/document/show/gci_program/google/gci2012/help_page
> [2] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Google_Code-In_2012
> [3] http://activities.sugarlabs.org
> [4] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugarcamp_SF_2012
> [5] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Features/Touch/Programming_Tips
> [6] http://planet.sugarlabs.org
> --
> Walter Bender
> Sugar Labs
> http://www.sugarlabs.org
> _______________________________________________
> Sugar-devel mailing list
> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel

Juan Ignacio Rodríguez
Activity Central
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