[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2013-01-25

Peter Robinson pbrobinson at gmail.com
Sat Jan 26 04:15:40 EST 2013

On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 11:04 PM, Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com> wrote:
> == Sugar Digest ==
> There are certainly cases where applying objective measures badly is
> worse than not applying them at all, and education may well be one of
> those. --Nate Silver
> 1. Not to be deterred by Nate Silver's words of warning, Claudia Urrea
> and I continue to work on mechanisms for visualizing learning Sugar.
> Along with the Pacita Pena and other members of the Learning Team, we
> have been designing rubrics that capture the level of fluency with the
> technology as well as the creative use of the individual Sugar tools
> by children. The rubrics are captured automatically in some Sugar
> activities, e.g., Turtle Art and a modified version of Write.  We are
> aiming for evaluations that look more broadly than those data that are
> captured by standardized tests. We just submitted a paper,
> "Visualizing Learning with Turtle Art", in which we present some
> measurements calculated from 45 Turtle Art projects [1] created by
> children working with Quirós Tanzi Foundation [2].
> We claim that the rubric serves as a partial evaluation tool for
> open-ended projects. Partial, because it is only a measure of how the
> children used Turtle Art to express themselves, but not what they made
> or why they made it [3]. But the rubric does have the potential to
> give some assistance to the teacher who is working within the context
> of accountability, without adding an additional burden of analysis
> above and beyond looking at the work itself.
> We want children not just to learn about the computer, but also to
> learn with the computer. Providing activities such as Turtle Art that
> engage them in computational thinking in the context of personal
> expression is necessary, but not sufficient. Giving them tools for
> reflection enhance the learning experience. Giving their teachers
> simple-to-use mechanisms for assessment increase the odds that
> activities like Turtle Art will find more mainstream acceptance.
> Making it easier to assess open-ended projects lowers one of the
> barriers that are preventing more use of the arts in school.
> 2. Google Code-In ended last week. We had 52 contestants working on
> almost 200 tasks supported by 22 mentors. On February 4, Google will
> announce the two winners from Sugar Labs. But in the meantime, I want
> to thank everyone who participated and thank Google for this
> opportunity for outreach. Chris Leonard, the co-administrator from
> Sugar Labs, has made a page in the wiki [4] summarizing the
> accomplishments of our students. Worth checking out.
> 3. Sean Daly, our PR guru, is back with a vengeance. We are planning
> to make some noise around Google Code In, the up-coming Sugar 1.0
> release, and many other accomplishments in order to broaden our
> community of contributors and users. Please contact Sean if you have
> themes we should consider promoting.

SoaS v8

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