[sugar] Integration with web apps (and Moodle specifically!)

Krishna Sankar ksankar ksankar
Sun Sep 3 13:20:16 EDT 2006

There are at least 2 vectors :

A)	Using OLPC as a class room system

	This is easier of the two. Do we assume that in class rooms OLPC
would be the system i.e. there would be no other computers. I think yes
(from Ivan's and Jim's notes). Then we need to make sure programs like
Moodle et al run well. This will, undoubtedly, be very useful for
teachers - but we need to make sure there are good training materials
and even hands-on training on backup, use of the programs et al. The
worst thing that can happen is to lose all the class data at the end of
the school year or even worse the class room computer is down and the
maintenance person is 5 villages away.

B)	Use of OLPC for identity semantics

	I am not sure how far this could work. If we rely on OLPC for
authentication and identity of students, then we need to make sure each
kid logs in, has a password, does not share the password with others et
al. This is the age old problem, authenticating the device vs.
authenticating the user. Device we can, user - may be. We also should
*not* rely on authC to give homework to kids and assure that they are
the ones doing the work et al. 

	IMHV, the OLPC is a stateless, pervasive and ubiquitous device
like a book or a toy - much more interactive and dynamic, but with the
same semantics. A group can work with it, individual can work with it,
but an any-to-any paradigm. By stateless, I mean, like kids play with
each others' toys, there should be no restrictions on who can use what.

C)	A third vector might be organized setting like a class room,
with some identity hierarchy like
/country/province/district/school/student. May be we will have Moodle
clients that require UN/PW to log on and then do class work. In this
case, we do need identify and authC interfaces; which I am sure we can
gather from the class room systems domains. But they need to me simple -
to use as well as develop.

D)	On the statelessness, I am still debating the E-mail vs. IM
question. IM, as it is a sync activity, is fine. But how do we handle
e-mails ? On a related note, I also assume we would have some form of
myspace, eventually. E-mails and the myspace will raise the security and
privacy issues.

Sorry for the long e-mail, just some of my thoughts. May be I am reading
too much into it.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: sugar-bounces at laptop.org 
> [mailto:sugar-bounces at laptop.org] On Behalf Of Jim Gettys
> Sent: Sunday, September 03, 2006 7:15 AM
> To: Martin Langhoff
> Cc: sugar at laptop.org
> Subject: Re: [sugar] Integration with web apps (and Moodle 
> specifically!)
> On Sun, 2006-09-03 at 17:15 +1200, Martin Langhoff wrote:
> > 
> >  - Are there school administration tools Moodle should 
> communicate with?
> > 
> It is safe to say that right now, OLPC itself is not 
> investing at all in
> *school* admin tools, and has no plans to do so.  
> There are a number of projects underway in that area 
> elsewhere, and the expertise and experience we have is 
> focused on the younger, typically un-served, kids that 
> demographically dominate the school population world-wide.  
> In many/most countries, children only get 5-6 years of 
> primary education. Seymour Papert, Alan Kay, Walter Bender 
> and other people involved in the project have deep experience 
> of more than three decades in the use of computers to help 
> young children learn.
> Having a 8 and 11 year old myself, I have observed first hand 
> twice in the last 5 years how badly typical UI environments 
> (on any operating
> system) serve these younger children who are in the process 
> of learning to read.  Windows, Mac, Gnome, KDE and other 
> GUI's design are all focused on adult knowledge workers, work 
> sort of ok by the time children can read really fluently, but 
> miss the mark *entirely* for for kids still learning to read, 
> that are the majority of kids actually in school in many 
> parts of the world. Ergo the work Sugar; it is a key missing 
> piece of the puzzle.
> We'd love it if people start pulling on the ores together on 
> school admin tools as well...  We certainly would like to see 
> school administration tools as part of the ecosystem.  
> Relieving teachers of manual administration work gives them 
> more time to work with students.
> For example, in Extremadura, they have an application for 
> taking attendance that is faster and easier for the teachers 
> and school administrators to use than paper.
> 			Regards,
>                            - Jim
> --
> Jim Gettys
> One Laptop Per Child
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