[Sugar-devel] L-earning

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Mon Jun 12 21:45:23 EDT 2017

On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 07:08:46PM -0600, Charles Cossé wrote:
> Hi Walter, James, All,

Thanks for the explanation links, I've had a better look now.

> On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 3:21 PM, James Cameron <[1]quozl at laptop.org>
> wrote:
>     Several reparsing attempts later and I think this is a plan for
>     monetisation of learners?  But not really sure;
> It is a plan to stimulate development of free education software and
> provide a valuable tool for parents, at the same time.  You've got
> Sugarizer, for example -- everything is freely available.  Now
> imagine an additional lightweight service which allowed parents to
> configure activities (and rewards), to queue-them-up for their kids,
> and which talked to their router at home for the purpose of
> performing a credit transfer.

So the credit-transfer is in a different currency and market to the
service charge.  Makes more sense now, I was conflating them before.

Not a monetisation of learners, but a monetisation of parents.

> For that special service you charge $10/month, and let the
> parent-subscriber distribute that amount among activity developers
> of their choice, thereby stimulating free education software
> development and possibly ongoing user-developer feedback cycles.  It
> also has potential for education research.

So to paraphrase, provide a paid service using open source software
that blocks internet access for children until they have used open
source applications that the parents deem worthy of use, and the
duration of use will determine the time the internet service is

Kind of like "you can't go out to play until you've done your
homework".  Intrafamilial trading of access rights.

And the point of control is a WiFi access point.

Nothing about how to handle uncontrolled WiFi access points?

>     unclear separation between motivation,
>     actions and outcome.  All blended. 
> Motivation: I've discovered that using internet access as a currency
> results in effective learning.  Furthermore, using a self-serve
> kiosk-type system takes you, the parent, out of the picture and kids
> develop a bird-birdfeeder relationship with the system, returning to
> earn more credits when they need to.  As an education software
> developer, this means that kids are getting more out of my software
> because they are focused on completing the objective.   Indeed, in
> this scheme learning is just a side-effect to the kids' objective of
> earning online time, but learning occurs just the same.  That's
> actually a potential research area right there. My motivation is
> that I believe this creates opportunities to advance free education
> software by not only compensating developers, but by providing a
> type of physical "glue" (i.e. the Raspberry-Pi credit meter /
> router) between the user and developer communities -- something to
> come together around.  I put this project on ice a couple years ago
> when I was working abroad.  I still think that it's a good idea and
> thus find myself working on it again.  I had a poster slot at PyCon
> in which I officially began to reach out to people again, and there
> was a lot of interest.  I needed more credit-earning activities for
> the PyCon demo so I wrapped a bunch from Sugarizer in iframes and it
> made the demo look much better.  I collected almost 100 emails of
> interested people.  My goal is to stimulate creation of more
> software, and all of it would work with Sugarizer, and vice versa. 

I see.

This will benefit inattentive or time-poor parents who would rather
use hardware and software to control their children's social

Attentive or time-rich parents will be sufficiently involved in their
children that they can exert control socially, and won't need paid

So your best bet will be to target this service at inattentive and
time-poor parents.

But only those parents living in houses sufficiently spread apart that
WiFi can be controlled.  Remote, rural, and suburban.

And only those parents who can recognise when an uncontrolled WiFi
access point appears; like a prepaid phone hotspot loaned by a friend.

> Action:  I believe that this experiment and Sugar-Labs could benefit
> each other tremendously.  Thus might as well start by offering it
> for adoption.

I'm not a member of Sugar Labs, though I am very involved as a

You don't need any permission to do what you plan; the GPLv3 and
Apache 2.0 licenses of Sugar and Sugarizer respectively permit that
usage; to create a derivative which counts elapsed time of use and
reports to a central site.  We already have elapsed time of use code
in Sugar.

But can you be more specific about what the costs are to Sugar Labs?

My guess is;

- distraction of an already small base of volunteers,

- additional non-core usage scenarios making code and documentation

- monetary conflicts of interest for developers who might otherwise be
  more involved.

> Outcome: An engine for free education software fueled by involved
> parents

Parents won't perceive this as a free education software thing if they
have to pay for it, so I don't see any point in your promoting to them
the concept of free education software or the license of the software.

Rather, it seems you have two different groups to market to; parents,
and developers.  Marketing with the same message to both is confusing.

> google group (everyone invited)
> github pages website
> white paper
> presentation (old)
> I haven't added too much here, but I hope it helps to clarify things
> nonetheless. 
> -Charles

James Cameron

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