[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] Sugar Digest 2013-10-22

Dr. Gerald Ardito gerald.ardito at gmail.com
Tue Oct 22 20:04:27 EDT 2013


This is very inspiring work.
Thank you.


On Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 10:33 AM, Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com>wrote:

> == Sugar Digest ==
> "Free software gives the license. Sugar provides the means."
> 1. I'm back from a week in Paraguay and Uruguay to celebrate Turtle
> Art Days in Caacupé and Montevideo.
> Turtle Art Day Caacupé exceeded my expectations. 275 students, their
> parents, and 77 teachers joined educators and Sugar developers from
> eight countries throughout the Americas and as far away as Australia
> (Tony Forster). Brian Silverman and Artemis Papert, the co-creators of
> Turtle Art, led workshops to a room full entralled children. Martin
> Abente, Andres Aguirre, and Alan Aguiar similarly led Butiá/Juky
> robots workshops, using TurtleBots. Claudia Urrea and I led workshops
> using Turtle Blocks, where the emphasis was on sensors and mutlimedia.
> Tony led a seminar with teachers on pedagogical framework for Turtle
> Art. We were assisted by "Evolution" children, youth leaders in
> Caacupé who attend school in the morning, teach in the afternoon, and
> on weekends supply technical support to school programs (I hope we are
> able to recruit many of them to participate in Google Code In, should
> Sugar Labs be chosen to participate again this year). While I have
> come to expect that children will deeply engage with Turtle Art, the
> fact that they maintained intense focus for three consecutive two-hour
> workshops, 70 to room, with only short breaks, was unexpected. Many
> thanks to Mary Gomez, Pacita Pena, Cecilia Alcala, and the Paraguay
> Educa team for all of the work they did behind the scenes (and in the
> classrooms) to make the day a success.
> Turtle Art Day Montevideo was teacher-focused rather than
> child-focused. Organized by José Miguel García, it attracted 70
> teachers to ANEP for a series of workshops.  Claudia and I began the
> day with a short lecture on pedagogy. The workshop themes included
> sensors (led by Guzman Trindad), robots (led by Andres and the Butiá
> team), advanced blocks, and turtle mathematics. During the robots
> workshop, we implemented inter-robot communication by taking advantage
> of some new collaboration blocks in Turtle Blocks (ported to
> TurtleBots): we mapped the accelerometer from one machine to the
> motors of another to make a remote-control steering wheel. In
> discussions the following day with Mariana Herrera, who works with
> children with severe physical disabilities, we came up with a simple
> adaptation that may enable her students to program Butiá using some
> buttons embedded in pillows.
> Sdenka Zobeida Salas Pilco and the children at an Aymara-speaking
> school organized a Turtle Art Day in Puno as well: "Children and I
> organized quickly this event, they provided some ideas for
> celebrating, it was their idea to arrange the classroom and sticking
> balloons to the walls. Girls asked me to were the traditional local
> clothes. They helped me a lot. Also, they prepared a song, a poetry
> and riddles in Spanish and Aymara language. Finally, the little ones
> worked some codes, 4th graders were exploring the activity, and 6th
> graders organized the event."
> Other Turtle Art Days are following: in Costa Rica, Malaysia, and
> possibly Singapore. While the primary purpose of these Turtle Art Days
> is to promote children learning through programming, an important
> secondary goal was also achieved: programming is not just in service
> of geometry (what Papert called "Mathland") but also in service of
> whatever passion drives the child. (Artemis refers to the work she and
> Brian do as "Artland". Work with sensors, robots, multimedia, etc.,
> offer many "mountains to climb".)
> 2. Other activities in Paraguay and Uruguay this week included EduJam
> in Asuncion, a Sugar Hackfest, a meeting with Pablo Flores and the
> Python Jóven, a Butiá workshop, and a Ceibal event for educators in
> Montevideo. Leticia Romero organized the first EduJam to be held
> regionally, at the National University of Asuncion. (I handed out >100
> copies of Sugar on a Stick to interested attendees thanks to the
> generosity of Nexcopy [1].) It was well attended by educators and
> engineers from Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, et al. The
> hackfest was also well attended. It included testing of Sugar 100 in a
> session orchestrated by Gonzalo Odiard (a number of bugs were
> discovered and fixed), an introduction to the new HTML5/Javascript by
> Manuel Quiñones, and a discussion of a proposal Brian to use an
> embedded Logo environment in the Arduino "brains" of the various
> robots programmed with TurtleBots. The Butiá workshop was an
> opportunity for me to observe how children use TurtleBots in
> programming their robots -- a few of my observations led to some
> fine-tuning of the UI in TurtleBlocks-192. And a chance to get direct
> feedback from teachers who use Turtle Blocks in a wide range of
> activities. Eye-opening. We discussed the ongoing challenge of
> providing both a low floor and a high ceiling. The Ceibal event was
> also an opportunity to observe how teachers use Sugar. There were
> perhaps 100 booths set up with teachers showing their projects. What
> was most impressive to me was that these projects were developed
> locally by the teachers, not handed down to them by the commercial
> sector: a testimony to the fact that teachers, when given the
> opportunity, will learn and use that learning in their classrooms.
> Many thanks to everyone from both .PY and .UY who were so welcoming
> and hospitable. It was great to see old friends and make some new one.
> I am looking forward to returning to the region soon.
> 3. For the first time ever, four members of the Sugar Labs oversight
> board managed to be physically in the same place at the same time.
> Daniel Francis, Gonzalo, Claudia, and I met at a coffee shop in
> Montevideo and had a chance to discuss a number of topics:
> (a) We agreed that we would apply again to Google Code In. It is
> imperative that the community come up with challenges for the contest
> as per [2]. We'd like to focus more on  bug-fixing tasks this year.
> I'll be preparing the 2013 pages in the next day or two.
> (b) We discussed the need to have more regular meetings (with preset
> agendas). I'll be soliciting preferred times for a monthly meeting,
> beginning in November.
> (c) We need to hold an election for four positions on the oversight
> board. Claudia, Daniel, and Gonzalo are continuing. The terms for
> Adam, Gerald, Chris and I are all expiring. Details to be posted
> shortly.
> (d) We discussed the need to amplify direct communication with Sugar
> deployments. We'll try to organize regular IRC meetings with technical
> and learning representatives from deployments.
> (e) We discussed the possibility of establishing local "ambassadors"
> to deployments to also increase communication.
> (f) We also want to hold brainstorming sessions on some specific
> topics, e.g., accessibility.
> === Sugar Labs ===
> 4. Please visit (and contribute to) our planet [3].
> ----
> [1] http://recycleusb.com/
> [2] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Google_Code-In_2012
> [3] http://planet.sugarlab.org
> -walter
> --
> Walter Bender
> Sugar Labs
> http://www.sugarlabs.org
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> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
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