[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] 2017 Goals for Sugar Labs

Laura Vargas laura at somosazucar.org
Mon Apr 10 14:45:26 EDT 2017

Hi Caryl and all,

Last year we - as a community - made the exercise to document a list of
technical and organizational goals here at the wiki:


It may be the logical start point for an updated version.

As for Objectives, and according with our mission*, earlier this year I

[1] To sponsor any motivated, active individuals in need to continue doing
the best they can to support our mission.

[2] To make sure our servers are safe and our systems are distributed.

[3] To maintain domains and trademarks.

As for the official mission I would be on favor of eliminating the
text "Originally
part of the One Laptop Per Child project" just because it is irrelevant.

>From https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Mission


Sugar Labs® <https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Trademark> is a volunteer-driven
member project of Software Freedom Conservancy
<http://www.sfconservancy.org/>, a nonprofit corporation. Originally part
of the One Laptop Per Child project, Sugar Labs coordinates volunteers
<https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/Getting_Involved> around the
world who are passionate about providing educational opportunities to
children through the Sugar Learning Platform. Sugar Labs® is supported by
donations and is seeking funding <https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Donate> to
accelerate development.

Regards and looking forward for your comments,

Laura Victoria

2017-04-10 11:58 GMT-05:00 Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com>:

> Hi Folks,
> First, thanks go to Walter for the very comprehensive review of Sugar Labs
> and what has been done and is currently being done. It is very helpful.
> However, it, in no sense of the words, represents goals and objectives for
> SL going forward.
> I know Sameer really does want to share more with us to assist in
> developing a viable list of goals and objectives, but I also know he is
> very busy with his teaching job.  So, I have taken the time to find a
> couple of resources from education that show what goals and objectives
> really are and how the activities we choose to undertake are related. These
> resources are attached.
> The next thing that needs to be done is to go through Walter's fine
> document and identify all the specific areas Sugar Labs works with and
> write one goal for each. Don't do anything else until these goals are
> written. These should be done in a sharable online document. Everyone who
> wants to participate should be encouraged to do so. There should be no
> special priority attached to any of these goals. At this point they would
> be of equal value.
> There should be one goal for each area... I suggest we start with these 4
> broad areas:
>    1. Sugar
>    2. Sugarizer
>    3. Stand Alone Projects
>    4. School Server
> Each goal should be concise and precise. *Preferably one sentence.* Under
> each goal go objectives. There can be *more than one* objective per goal.
> An objective should follow the form of *Who* is going to do *What* by
> *When* and *How* will success be measured.
> A goal can have several objectives under it... for example, the objectives
> for Sugar could have objectives addressing both Raspian and Trisquel (two
> separate categories).
> Once the objectives are filled in, it will be time to start working on
> activities. These will include actual activities like producing a new
> version of Sugarizer, conducting a Music Blocks workshop, showing Sugar
> Labs "products" and recruiting users and volunteers at Linux conferences
> and educational conferences, etc.
> After this every project proposed can be analyzed with the question in
> mind, "How does this project help Sugar Labs achieve its stated objectives
> (and thus its goals as well).
> Please! Someone start a doc for this to all happen. Begin with just the 4
> (or 5 if you want to separate Raspian and Trisquel). Make a simple goal for
> each. Then collaborate on getting the goals "just right" before moving on
> to objectives.
> Then do the same thing for objectives.
> This may seem like a lot of "busy work." But, trust me it isn't. It will
> give Sugar Labs a strong platform to work from, enabling the best use of
> limited time and resources.
> Caryl
> ------------------------------
> *From:* IAEP <iaep-bounces at lists.sugarlabs.org> on behalf of Laura Vargas
> <laura at somosazucar.org>
> *Sent:* Monday, April 10, 2017 7:31:18 AM
> *To:* Samson Goddy
> *Cc:* SLOBs; iaep; sugar-devel; Dave Crossland
> *Subject:* Re: [IAEP] [Sugar-devel] 2017 Goals for Sugar Labs
> Thank you Samson
> Then I guess the email format is not the best choice. Could you please
> document it on a wiki page at the Sugar Labs wiki?
> Blessings and a nice week to all
> Laura Victoria
> 2017-04-10 8:25 GMT-05:00 Samson Goddy <samsongoddy at gmail.com>:
>> If i am wrong, walter made it clear earlier that this is a "draft
>> proposal" meaning you can input.
>> Samson
>> On Apr 10, 2017 2:15 PM, "Laura Vargas" <laura at somosazucar.org> wrote:
>> 2017-04-09 19:03 GMT-05:00 Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com>:
>>> On Sun, Apr 9, 2017 at 7:56 PM, Dave Crossland <dave at lab6.com> wrote:
>>>> Hi
>>>> Thanks Walter. I'd like to better understand some additional context
>>>> before diving in :)
>>>> Does this mean Sameer you have stopped the project planning process you
>>>> started, and we should not expect you to restart it again?
>>> At the most recent SLOB meeting Samson brought up the fact that we were
>>> still waiting and so I volunteered to write something up to get the
>>> conversation going again.
>> Thanks for doing this Walter,
>> After a quick read, I have to confess I feel sad and excluded because
>> none of the projects I have worked on [1] is mentioned on your view of
>> Sugar's history.
>> Regards and blessings,
>> Laura V
>>  [1] http://pe.sugarlabs.org/ir/Proyectos
>>>> Walter, are these the goals for this year, or are they your proposal
>>>> for the goals for this year?
>>> Not sure I understand what you are asking. I wrote up a draft of goals
>>> but they are not "the goals" until we agree to them.
>>> regards.
>>> -walter
>>>> On Apr 9, 2017 3:31 PM, "Walter Bender" <walter.bender at gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> As per the discussion in the last Suagr Labs Oversight Board Meeting,
>>>>> I had agreed to write a draft statement of goals for 2017. The document
>>>>> below includes feedback from Samson G. I hope this document can serve to
>>>>> revitalize our discussion from 2016 that never reached resolution.
>>>>> Sugar Labs Plans, Goals, Aspirations
>>>>> What is Sugar Labs?
>>>>> Sugar Labs creates, distributes, and maintains learning software for
>>>>> children. Our approach to learning is grounded in Constructionism, a
>>>>> pedagogy developed by Seymour Papert and his colleagues in the 1960s and
>>>>> 70s at MIT. Papert pioneered the use of the computer by children to help
>>>>> engage them in the “construction of knowledge.” His long-time colleague
>>>>> Cynthia Solomon expanded up his ideas by introducing the concept of
>>>>> engaging children in debugging as a pathway into problem-solving. Their
>>>>> 1971 paper, “Twenty things to do with a computer”, is arguably the genesis
>>>>> of contemporary movements such as the Maker Movement and Hour of Code.
>>>>> At the core of Constructionism is “learning through doing.” If you
>>>>> want more learning, you want more doing. At Sugar Labs we provide tools to
>>>>> promote doing. (We focus almost exclusively on tools, not instructional
>>>>> materials.) However, we go beyond “doing” by incorporating critical dialog
>>>>> and reflection into the Sugar learning environment, through mechanisms for
>>>>> collaboration, journaling, and portfolio.
>>>>> Sugar Labs is a spinoff of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project and
>>>>> consequently it has inherited many of its goals from that project. The goal
>>>>> of OLPC is to bring the ideas of Constructionism to scale in order to reach
>>>>> more children. A particular focus is on children in the developing world.
>>>>> In order to meet that goal, Sugar, which was originally developed for OLPC,
>>>>> was by necessity a small-footprint solution that required few resources in
>>>>> terms of CPU, memory, storage, or network connectivity. The major change on
>>>>> focus from the OLPC project is that Sugar Labs strives to make the Sugar
>>>>> desktop available to multiple platforms, not just the OLPC XO hardware.
>>>>> Who develops Sugar?
>>>>> Sugar Labs is a 100% volunteer effort (although we do occasionally
>>>>> raise money for paid student internships). Sugar development and
>>>>> maintenance is incumbent upon volunteers and hence we strive to provide as
>>>>> much control as possible to our community members, including our end-users.
>>>>> (In fact, one of our assertions is that by enabling our users to
>>>>> participate in the development of the tools that they use will lead to
>>>>> deeper engagement in their own learning.) Towards these ends, we chose the
>>>>> GPL as our primary license. It has been said of the GPL that it “restricts
>>>>> my right [as a developer] to restrict yours [as a user and potential
>>>>> developer]”, which seems ideal for a project that wants to engage a broad
>>>>> and diverse set of learners. But at Sugar Labs we go beyond the usual goals
>>>>> of FOSS: a license to make changes to the code is not enough to ensure that
>>>>> users make changes. We also strive to provide the means to make changes.
>>>>> Our success in this goal is best reflected in the number of patches we
>>>>> receive from our community. (We achieve this goal through providing access
>>>>> to source code and development tools within Sugar itself. We also actively
>>>>> participate in workshops and internship programs such as Google Summer of
>>>>> Code, Outreaching, and Google Code-In.)
>>>>> Who uses Sugar?
>>>>> Ultimately, our goal is to reach learners (and educators) with
>>>>> powerful tools and engage them in Constructionist learning. Currently we
>>>>> reach them in many ways: the majority of our users get the Sugar desktop
>>>>> preinstalled on OLPC XO hardware. We have a more modest set of users who
>>>>> get Sugar packaged in Fedora, Trisquel, Debian, Ubuntu, or other GNU/Linux
>>>>> platforms. Some users get Sugar on Live Media (i.e., Sugar on a Stick).
>>>>> Recently Sugarizer, a repackaging of some of the core Sugar ideas for the
>>>>> browser, has been finding its way to some users. There are also a number of
>>>>> Sugar activities that are popular outside of the context Sugar itself, for
>>>>> example, Turtle Blocks, which has wide-spread use in India. Harder to
>>>>> measure is the extent to which Sugar has influenced other providers of
>>>>> “educational” software. If the Sugar pedagogy is incorporated by others,
>>>>> that advances our goal.
>>>>> Who supports Sugar?
>>>>> When we first created Sugar Labs, we envisioned “Local Labs”—hence the
>>>>> name “Sugar Labs”, plural—that would provide local support in terms of
>>>>> local-language support, training, curriculum development, and
>>>>> customizations. This model has not ever gained the scale and depth
>>>>> envisioned (we can debate the reasons why), although there are still some
>>>>> active local communities (e.g., Educa Paraguay) that continue to work
>>>>> closely with the broader community. There are also individual volunteers,
>>>>> such as Tony Anderson and T.K. Kang, who help support individual schools in
>>>>> Rwanda, Malaysia, et al. An open question is how do we support our users
>>>>> over the long term?
>>>>> What is next for Sugar?
>>>>> We face several challenges at Sugar Labs. With the ebb of OLPC, we
>>>>> have a contracting user base and the number of professional developers
>>>>> associated with the project is greatly diminished. How can we expand our
>>>>> user base? How can we attract more experienced developers? Why would they
>>>>> want to work on Sugar as opposed to some other project? The meta issue is
>>>>> how do we keep Sugar relevant in a world of Apps and small, hand-held
>>>>> devices? Can we meet the expectations of learners living in a world of
>>>>> fast-paced, colorful interfaces? How do we ensure that it is fulfilling its
>>>>> potential as a learning environment and that our users, potential users,
>>>>> and imitators are learning about and learning from Sugar. Some of this is a
>>>>> matter of marketing; some of this is a matter of staying focused on our
>>>>> core pedagogy; some of this a matter of finding strategic partners with
>>>>> whom we can work.
>>>>> We have several near-term opportunities that we should leverage:
>>>>> * Raspian: The Raspberry PI 3.0 is more than adequate to run Sugar—the
>>>>> experience rivals or exceeds that of the OLPC XO 4.0 hardware. While RPi is
>>>>> not the only platform we should be targeting, it does has broad penetration
>>>>> into the Maker community, which shares a synergy with our emphasis on
>>>>> “doing”. It is low-hanging fruit. With a little polish we could have an
>>>>> image available for download from the RPi website.
>>>>> * Trisquel: We have the potential for better leveraging the Free
>>>>> Software Foundation as a vehicle for promoting Sugar. Their distro of
>>>>> choice is Trisquel and the maintainer does a great job of keep the Sugar
>>>>> packages up to date.
>>>>> * Sugarizer: The advantage of Sugarizer is that it has the potential
>>>>> of reaching orders of magnitude more users since it is web-based and runs
>>>>> in Android and iOS. There is some work to be done to make the experience
>>>>> palatable on small screens and the current development environment is—at
>>>>> least my opinion—not scalable or maintainable. The former is a formidable
>>>>> problem. The latter quite easy to address.
>>>>> * Stand-alone projects such as Music Blocks have merit as long as they
>>>>> maintain both a degree of connection with Sugar and promote the values of
>>>>> the community. It is not certain that these projects will lead users
>>>>> towards Sugar, but they do promote FOSS and Constructionist principles. And
>>>>> they have attracted new developers to the Sugar community.
>>>>> * School-server: The combination of the School Server and Sugar
>>>>> desktop is a technical solution to problems facing small and remote
>>>>> communities. We should continue to support and promote this combination.
>>>>> Specific actions: After last year’s Libre Planet conference, several
>>>>> community members discussed a marketing strategy for Sugar. We thought that
>>>>> if we could reach influencers, we might be able to greatly amplify our
>>>>> efforts. There are several prominent bloggers and pundits in the education
>>>>> arena who are widely read and who might be receptive to what we are doing.
>>>>> One significant challenge is that GNU/Linux remains on the far periphery of
>>>>> the Ed Tech world. Although the “love affair” with all things Apple seems
>>>>> to be over, the new elephant in the room—Chromebooks and Google Docs—is
>>>>> equally difficult to co-exist with. Personally, I see the most potential
>>>>> synergy with the Maker movement, which is building up momentum in
>>>>> extra-curricular programs, where FOSS and GNU-Linux are welcome (hence my
>>>>> earlier focus on RPi). (There are even some schools that are building their
>>>>> entire curriculum around PBL.) We can and should develop and run some
>>>>> workshops that can introduce Sugar within the context of the Maker
>>>>> movement. (Toward that end, I have been working with some teachers on how
>>>>> to leverage, for example, Turtle Blocks for 3D printing.) It is very much a
>>>>> tool-oriented community with little overall discussion of architectural
>>>>> frameworks, so we have some work to do. But there is lots of low-hanging
>>>>> fruit there.
>>>>> regards.
>>>>> -walter
>>>>> --
>>>>> Walter Bender
>>>>> Sugar Labs
>>>>> http://www.sugarlabs.org
>>>>> <http://www.sugarlabs.org>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
>>>>> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
>>>>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
>>> --
>>> Walter Bender
>>> Sugar Labs
>>> http://www.sugarlabs.org
>>> <http://www.sugarlabs.org>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
>>> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
>>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
>> --
>> Laura V.
>> *I&D SomosAZUCAR.Org*
>> “No paradox, no progress.”
>> ~ Niels Bohr
>> Happy Learning!
>> _______________________________________________
>> Sugar-devel mailing list
>> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
> --
> Laura V.
> *I&D SomosAZUCAR.Org*
> “No paradox, no progress.”
> ~ Niels Bohr
> Happy Learning!

Laura V.
* I&D SomosAZUCAR.Org*

“No paradox, no progress.”
~ Niels Bohr

Happy Learning!
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