[IAEP] Sugar Labs 2017 Budget

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Sun Feb 26 11:25:16 EST 2017

On Sun, Feb 26, 2017 at 6:19 AM, Dave Crossland <dave at lab6.com> wrote:

> Hi
> On 26 February 2017 at 11:44, Sebastian Silva <sebastian at fuentelibre.org>
> wrote:
> > Hello all,
> >
> > On 25/02/17 20:33, Tymon Radzik wrote:
> >
> >> Sugar Labs is by its statement volunteer-driven project. We are
> volunteers.
> >> We work for the idea of the free and open software and not for own
> financial
> >> profit.
> >
> > It is worth to reflect upon this point. Certainly the design and
> engineering
> > teams of Redhat and OLPC that built Sugar in the first place weren't
> unpaid
> > volunteers.
> They were also not part of Sugar Labs.
> > I like to think that we're all volunteers, in that, we are not
> > motivated by money, and if we could do more, we would.
> >
> > (Lack of) Investment in software infrastructure for education is a large
> > void that ultimately implies a hidden cost of integration, field support,
> > even the impossibility of deployment. Who is doing this work required to
> > take Sugar* (a component) and make it into end user solutions?
> There are organizations like oneeducation and kidsoncomputers that do
> this work; and it seems to me that they don't focus on Sugar because
> it isn't what people want.
> An anecdote: Around the end of last summer, I spoke to someone
> involved in Sugar a while ago, based in the US, who helps refugees to
> the US with some computing stuff. He was listed in the wiki. The idea
> of booting a PC off a USB stick - let alone installing a dual boot
> setup - was so intimidating for these families, where any trouble
> running the existing Windows/Office tools that the parents in the
> families needed to keep their families off the streets - that he was
> unable to get a single child, highly motivated from tutored use of
> Sugar at school - to make use of it at home.
> Sugarizer presents such children with a more viable option to take
> more active direction over their own learning, being web based, and
> packaged for a kid who has a hand-me-down mobile device.

I am not sure I agree as I don't see how a kid with a hand-me down mobile
device makes the transition to a contributor. Happy to be proven wrong.

> However, it is unclear to me if my premise in the line above - that
> Sugar Labs should focus on subverting schools, by empowering kids to
> teach themselves, and avoiding the need for field support and
> deployment managed by adults - is closer to what Sugar Labs should be,
> or if the premie that Caryl outlined in her last email in this thread
> - that Sugar Labs should focus on supporting schools, by adjusting
> Sugar software to meet the pedagogical theories of common schools - is
> closer.
+1 to subverting school (and not just catering to what teachers and parents
and administrators want: there are plenty of other organizations more than
willing to do that). We need to stick to our Constructionist roots or we
have no purpose. That said, I repeat that I think there is leverage with
the maker movement and we have something of value to offer them. If we make
it easy to leverage Sugar on RPi, we have a good chance to get in the door.
This doesn't help the immigrant child -- maybe Sugarizer is the best we can
do for that use case). Meanwhile, I will continue to build tools that kids
can leverage (in or out of school) and hopefully learn to modify and shape
to their own purposes.

> As Samson and I have been saying, last year we all agreed to wait for
> Sameer to provide a vision, missions, etc.
> I suppose that if Sameer doesn't do this soon,
> > While it is probably human nature to distrust, I think Laura is
> proposing to
> > shift from just hiring strangers that walk away after 3 months with
> $5000,
> I'm confused. When was $5,000 paid out to someone who delivered nothing? :)
> > to sustaining long term active members with a small stipend for a year,
> in
> > the hope (and trust) that they will increase their effort and
> involvement,
> > as well as attract more active contributors. Whether this will result in
> a
> > better Sugar a year from now, and whether it is sustainable, remains to
> be
> > seen, as well as the specific dynamics of such a program.
> This strategy seems high risk, to me.
> > The following is an excerpt from "Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor
> Behind
> > Our Digital Infrastructure" (license: CC-BY, author: Nadia Eghbal)
> >
> > I recommend reading the whole book and we can think how it applies to a
> > project like Sugar Labs, that has no money making product, but rather is
> a
> > knowledge multiplying community, and how society can nurture it.
> I've read the book; after publishing it, Nadia then went to work for
> Github and in her role there has just published
> http://opensource.guide which has a section on funding directly.
> However, I think the funds that accrue to SL from its GSOC/GCI
> programs provide adequate funding for the project to continue
> indefinitely as a volunteer-run one. It is not clear to me that any
> additional funds should be sought until the org and the project have
> been reconstituted for 2017 to 2027. That costs nothing :)
> --
> Cheers
> Dave
> _______________________________________________
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
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Walter Bender
Sugar Labs
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