[sugar] Narrative

Bryan Berry bryan.berry
Sun Oct 5 16:11:32 EDT 2008

On Sun, 2008-10-05 at 12:29 -0400, Walter Bender wrote:
> 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
> discovery.
> 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? 

I don't see a way for Sugar to natively support narratives or need to. I
think that manipulating narratives is best done by html pages and
specifically by Moodle. More effort needs to be invested in offline
moodle to complement Sugar.

The problem is that we really need a version of moodle that can easily
run courses in an offline mode so that our kids can complete courses
that bind together different kinds of material into a narrative. 

Offline moodle needs a lot of work to get working properly and really
doesn't receive the attention it deserves. 

> 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? 

Nothing. More work in offline moodle is needed.

> There is also a powerful presentation
> toolkit built into Etoys--is it the lack of PowerPoint that Bryan is
> missing?

Nope, I don't see a need for a powerpoint clone.
> --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 

Offline moodle currently does not work very at all

> 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".
> -walter

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