[IAEP] Note-taking

Sora Edwards-Thro sora at unleashkids.org
Mon Feb 23 00:19:20 EST 2015

Thanks, Tony and James. Replies to both your messages below:

On Sat, Feb 21, 2015 at 8:42 PM, James Simmons <nicestep at gmail.com> wrote
> The goodreads website https://www.goodreads.com might be useful.

Yes, and features like getting recommendations about what to read based on
what you've already liked and being able to add books to a "want to read"
list would be great. I especially like the "want to read" list because it
implies it gives you a way to identify something as interesting and then
move on instead of feeling obligated to dive right into it. Of course, the
experience of downloading a text to your computer's journal to read later
might replicate that.

> I wrote a free book the might be of some use to you:
> https://archive.org/details/EBookEnlightenment

 Thanks for passing this on! I ended up reading through the whole thing
because everything inside is relevant to this project (even the parts on
scanning in paper books).

A few questions:
You mention that the text-to-speech works for plain text and ePubs; does
that mean it doesn't work for PDFs? I would test this on my personal XO,
but I'm waiting for my charger to arrive in the mail...

On another note, at one point you mention that in the Read Etexts activity
"highlighting may lag behind the words being spoken." Does this activity
actually highlight the words as the computer is reading them? Using the
text-to-speech function built into the Frame of later versions of Sugar, I
haven't seen it do that.

On Sat, Feb 21, 2015 at 9:03 PM, Tony Anderson <tony_anderson at usa.net>

>  Hi, Sora
> The idea would be that a comments on a book (accession) would be linked
> from the accession record.
> There is also a Django app (kls), which provides a record for each XO user
> (student or staff) and a record for each XO (inventory). The comments made
> by a user would be linked also to the user. In this way it would be easy to
> look at all comments and rankings by a user or to look at all comments and
> rankings for a given item in the library.

Sounds great. It's good to hear that accessions can be linked to one
another; that also got me thinking about how we can accommodate books
accompanied with audio on the server. Currently, when students want to
listen to audio for a book, they have to start the audio in a separate
window and then flip back to the book to read along. It isn't too much of a
hassle, but it would be nice if it was easier.

Would you provide a log-on for each user? With our particular course we'll
be enrolling only 20 students in each class, so everyone will have access
to their own XO and will use the same computer each day. We figured that
means we can skip a log-in step and just identify teachers and students by
the computer they're using to access the server. I know other deployments
are using the same set of XOs for the whole school, so they might need a
log-in; we're just hoping to have one less page for students / teachers to
click through before class can start.

> Like most of my projects, this one is 90% complete. The comment link is
> needed. I plan the comments/rankings to look like those in Pustakalaya (
> www.pustakalaya.org). Unfortunately, that app currently only works in the
> internet version. I also have not added the 'url' links capability to add
> other items. Look at Rachel as an example of how the Gutenberg collection
> could be organized into collections for greater accessibility (by the way,
> this sort of direct link is far less demanding on the server than the
> current search method).

I'm glad someone's thinking of how to structure large amounts of resources
in the future. That's not exactly our situation, since we're only dealing
with 300 - 500 books in an extracurricular program that doesn't have to tie
things to curriculum. Sorting of some sort will be important, but I guess
my own priority at the moment is giving teachers and students the tools to
share great reading materials with each other. Thanks for giving some
advantages of the direct-link system so that even a non-techie like me can
understand why it might be useful ( ;

> Tony
> On 02/22/2015 09:42 AM, James Simmons wrote:
>  Sora,
>  The goodreads website https://www.goodreads.com might be useful. You can
> do rankings of books, reviews, have threaded discussions, post favorite
> quotes, interact with G+ and Facebook, and other things that the words
> "reading socially" would suggest.
>  I wrote a free book the might be of some use to you:
>  https://archive.org/details/EBookEnlightenment
>  It is also available on the web. Here is the chapter on the Pathagar
> book server, which might be of interest:
>  http://en.flossmanuals.net/e-book-enlightenment/the-pathagar-book-server/
>  James Simmons
> On Sat, Feb 21, 2015 at 4:45 PM, Sora Edwards-Thro <sora at unleashkids.org>
> wrote:
>> Thanks for the additional input, everyone. James, Gonzalo, Tony, some
>> responses below:
>> On Sat, Feb 21, 2015 at 4:14 PM, James Simmons <nicestep at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>>  The catch is it only works with plain text files.
>>  Yes, my original thought was we could convert PDF to plain-text files
>> and just use the Write activity to do highlights and such. But, some of the
>> content we're working with is not OER (that's what happens when you need
>> high-quality books in a specific language), and I'm not sure if they'll be
>> okay with us manipulating the files like that. We've got to choose how many
>> battles to fight with them. Thanks for passing this tool on - looks like
>> it's better suited than the Write activity for reading.
>>    On Sat, Feb 21, 2015 at 2:51 PM, Gonzalo Odiard <godiard at sugarlabs.org
>>> > wrote:
>>>>  I am available to work (on contract) in these features if you are
>>>> interested.
>>  Thank you for the offer, Gonzalo. Fortunately, we do have some money
>> raised to pay programmers. Right now I'm just trying to identify which
>> tasks to ask people to tackle. Bear in mind that this is my first
>> experience with software development; thanks for being patient,everyone, as
>> we try to figure out what is and isn't doable, and what is and isn't worth
>> doing.
>>  On Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 7:52 PM, Tony Anderson <tony_anderson at usa.net>
>>  wrote:
>>> Also on the list is a 'comments' capability so that learners can make
>>> comments and give rankings for the books they read from the school server
>>> library and which would be linked to the book entry on the school server.
>>  Do you currently have a system in place for organizing books on the
>> schoolserver? I know on the Haiti IIAB release we have a searchable copy of
>> Project Gutenberg; I don't know how easy it is to add entries to that. In
>> the past, we just added books by creating another link that goes to a page
>> with a list of the PDF files available. But since we're looking at adding
>> at least 300 more books, plus whatever the texts the students are able to
>> write, so searching  by title would be nice / necessary. We're also looking
>> for sorting by level and topic. Finally, the ability to comment and give
>> rankings is essential if you want students to start reading socially. If
>> you've made / plan to make any headway on the above, I'd love to hear more
>> about it. Thanks.
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