[sugar] Narrative

Walter Bender walter.bender
Sun Oct 5 12:29:55 EDT 2008

Each of us seems to have interpreted Michael's note differently, so
perhaps some more clarity of definitions is in order. In any case, my
focus was on the assertion that there are  "no excellent way to
manipulate narratives" within Sugar. Excellence is the standard we
should be striving for and I do agree we have a ways to go in terms of
developing tools for "manipulating" "narratives" within Sugar. But it
seems a funny dichotomy: manipulating narratives vs. modes for

When I think about Sugar, I think about its providing a scaffolding
for discovering, expressing, critiquing, and reflecting. Manipulating
narrative seems to cut across all of these area (as does
collaboration). We have a browser--the "discovery" platform du
jour--but also an ebook reader and media player, and various tools for
collecting and inspecting data (e.g, Measure and Distance). In terms
of expression, we have a wide variety of tools, including word
processing, rich media, programming, etc. Tools for critique and
reflection seems the least developed thus far: we have chat and we
have sharing and simple debugging tools, and we have the Journal, but
we don't yet support (natively) much in the way of organizing data to
make an analysis or argument. Is this the role Bryan expects Moodle to
play? If so, I don't really see how.  There are beginnings of tools
such as spreadsheets, mindmaps, etc. being "Sugarized". What else
should we add to this list? There is also a powerful presentation
toolkit built into Etoys--is it the lack of PowerPoint that Bryan is
missing?--but it is not very easy to find. Perhaps something more
wiki-like or HTML-based would be better. Having it available off-line
is probably as important as accessing an on-line system, such as is
already available in Moodle and in general on any GNU/Linux (or even
Windows) server. In terms of organizing school itself, Moodle and its
like certainly have an important role to play. Sugar is not intended
to be all things, but part of a learning ecosystem.

There is certainly a paucity of lesson plans developed around Sugar:
how does one best leverage this collection of tools for learning. And
undoubtedly, a dearth of content readily packaged and categorized. But
I don't see these as fundamental design flaws in Sugar as much as a
place where more effort needs to be invested. Sugar is reaching a
point of maturity where such investments make sense.

In any case, I'd love to hear Michael's "interesting ideas".


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