[Sugar-devel] [IAEP] Sugar Digest 2014-05-15
curiouslee at gmail.com
Thu May 15 14:25:32 EDT 2014
And great photos from Turtle Art sessions in Kathmandu posted on Facebook:
Introducing Turtle Art
A photo from Turtle Art Day
Turtle Art Day 2
Winning Project of Turtle Art Day
On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 1:37 PM, Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com>wrote:
> ==Sugar Digest==
> Happy 6th Birthday Sugar Labs
> 1. I just got back from Turtle Art Day in Kathmandu, Nepal. OLE Nepal
> helped organize a 2-day workshop with 70+ children from four schools. Many
> thanks to Martin Dluhos, Basanta Shrestha, Subir Pradhanang, Rabi
> Karmacharya, Bernie Innocenti, and Adam Holt, all of who contributed to the
> It was not a surprise that children in Nepal are like children everywhere
> else: they take to programming like ducks to water. We began by taking the
> children in small groups to learn some basics about controlling the turtle:
> one child plays the role of turtle, one holds the pen (a piece of chalk)
> and the rest, in a circle, instruct the "turtle" how to draw a square. They
> need to be very precise with their instructions: if they just say "forward"
> without saying how far forward, the turtle keeps walking. If they say
> "right", without saying how far to turn, the turtle keeps spinning after
> they draw a square, I ask them to draw a triangle then they are ready to
> start with Turtle Art. I've posted a few of the chalk drawing in the wiki:
> simple ones  from my session to more elaborate  from those working
> with another one of the mentors.
> After working with chalk, we went to the computers. On a laptop connected
> to a projector, I introduced Turtle Blocks, and again ask for a square. I
> show them that they can snap together blocks, e.g., forward 100, right 90;
> showed them the repeat block; and then I show them how to use the start
> block to run their program with the rabbit or snail (fast or slow). Over
> time, I introduced the pen and let them explore colors for awhile. Next, I
> introduce action blocks: make an action for drawing a square and then call
> that action inside of a repeat block followed by right 45 and you get a
> pretty cool pattern. This was followed by more open-ended exploration. I
> introduced a few more ideas, such as using "set color to heading" (the
> color is determined by the direction the turtle is heading); "set color =
> color + 1" to increment the color; and "set color = time" to make the color
> slowly change over time. I also introduced a few other blocks, such as
> show, speak, and random. Finally, I introduced boxes. For this, I use a
> physical box: I ask the children to put a number (written on paper) in the
> box; then I ask them what number is in the box. I ask them to take the
> number in the box and add 1 to it. Again I ask them what number is in the
> box. I repeat this until they get used to it; then I show them the same
> thing using Turtle. The example program I write with them is to go forward
> by the amount in the box, turn right, and add 10 to the number in the box.
> I asked them what they think will happen and then show them that it makes a
> spiral. When they run it with the "snail", they can see the number in the
> box as the program runs. Another block I explicitly introduced was the
> "show" block. We programmed an animation with "show image", "wait 1", "show
> image", "wait 1", ... They recorded dance steps using the Sugar Record
> activity and used those images in their Turtle projects. As often as
> possible, we tried to have a child show their work to the entire group. At
> the end of the second day, we had a table set up for an exhibition; we had
> to keep adding more tables as more and more children wanted to show off
> their projects.
> We originally planned on break-out sessions on Day Two, but we had a
> technical glitch on Day One, that slowed things down quite a bit. The
> children were running Sugar 0.82 on XO 1 laptops, which is nearly six-years
> old. They had them connected to the mesh network, which cannot scale
> properly to 70+ machines. The result was a lot of frozen machines. It took
> most of the day to figure out what was wrong. Once we turned off the
> radios, everything worked great. I also had to spin a stripped down version
> of Turtle Art, since a number of dependencies I use, such as some Python
> 2.7 features, were unavailable on 0.82.
> We did have one break-out session for robotics. I brought a Butia to Nepal
> and I wrote the typical program with the kids to have the Butia go forward
> until it got to the edge of the circle (everyone was sitting in a circle on
> the floor); whomever the Butia approached had to push a button so that the
> Butia would spin and then go in another direction. We then added a few
> embellishments: the Butia would say "ouch" or "that tickles" when the
> button was pushed; and we had it take a picture of the child who pushed the
> button. We saved the files so we could use them to make an animation in
> Turtle Art.
> Of note: One child approached me to say he is teaching himself to program
> Python. I showed him how to export Python from his Turtle Art projects.
> I'll be curious how he uses that feature. I am making a new set to "Turtle
> Cards"  to demonstrate the steps we took in explaining Turtle to the
> 2. While I was in Kathmandu, I had a chance to meet with the Nepali FOSS
> community, thanks to Shankar Pokharel, Ankur Sharma, and Subir Pradhanang.
> We had a nice talk about the challenges and opportunities facing FOSS in
> 3. Just before my trip to Nepal, I was in Mexico attending Aldea Digital
> . The central plaza in Centro Historico in DF is turned into the world's
> larget free Internet cafe for two weeks. I gave a lecture about Sugar and
> ran an impromptu Turtle Art session. (We installed Sugar in a VM on twenty
> Windows 8 machines and ran a session.) I also had a chance to meet Ian, the
> 9-month old baby of Carla Gomez: a future Turtle Artist.
> === In the Community ===
> 4. Mike Dawson, formally of OLPC Afghanistan, wrote a nice commentary on
> the Keepod  in which he mentions Sugar on a Stick.
> 5. Google Summer of Code begins on the 19th of May. We'll be meeting every
> week in IRC on Fridays at 2PM EST.
> 6. There is still time to enter the Sugar Background Image Contest .
> === Tech Talk ===
> 7. Daniel Narvaez has been building F20 images for XO : The XO-1 image
> boots into Sugar (latest from git) and wifi works. He has also built XO-4
> 8. Daniel also built tarballs for 0.101.5 [8, 9]. We are now in string,
> API and UI freeze.
> 9. Please help us with testing of Sugar 102. See  for details.
> === Sugar Labs ===
> 10. Please visit our planet .
>  http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:Chalk1.jpg
>  http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/File:Chalk2.jpg
>  http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Activities/Turtle_Art/Turtle_Cards
>  http://aldeadigitalmx.com/
>  http://contest.sugarlabs.org
>  http://shell.sugarlabs.org/~dnarvaez/oob/
>  http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/0.102/Testing
>  http://planet.sugarlabs.org
> Walter Bender
> Sugar Labs
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
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