[Systems] Sugar Labs Oversight Board Election Candidates 2017-2019 - Stage III Closed
laura at somosazucar.org
Tue Sep 19 14:06:44 EDT 2017
Here you can read the current candidates statements:
(Translations to other languages welcome)
Devin Ulibarri is a musician and an educator who became interested in
free/libre software in 2014 during research for the Center for
Music-in-Education (Boston). Devin pursued research into the implications
for "software libre in education" which led him to believe that free/libre
software is best for teaching and learning. He was soon introduced to
SugarLabs, which both empowers teachers/learners with software freedom as
well as offers tools to exercise those freedoms in a community setting.
Since his introduction to the SugarLabs community, Devin has participated
heavily in the development of Music Blocks, a programming language for
music. Within the SugarLabs community, Devin offers conceptual
recommendations, design ideas, mockups, testing, minor patches, and
community involvement on GitHub and Sugar's IRC. In his local community,
Devin has represented Music Blocks software as a workshop lecturer
(Constructionism Conference in Thailand, Canopy of Somerville) as well as a
class instructor (YMCA Malden).
As an oversight board member, Devin would bring his insight as an
experienced classroom teacher, an artist, and a free/libre software
advocate. Devin has been described as "a very patient person", which he
hopes would be a contribution to the oversight board if elected.
After a decade of working on Sugar, I am reflecting on how we engage
learners. We provide programming environments (e.g., Turtle and Music
Blocks) and mechanism for debugging, collaboration, expression, and
reflection. Our adherence to the principles of Free/Libre Software provides
scaffolding for personal expression through programming and for surfacing
personal responsibility, a sense of community, and unbounded expectations
of Sugar users turned Sugar developers.
Where have we fallen short? Edtech is become big business: selling Apps and
content is more lucrative and facile than the hard work of engaging teacher
and learners in authentic problem-solving. There is a strong temptation to
make things as simple as possible so as to reach the broadest possible
audience. But some things are inherently complex. Apps might be fun, but
the hard part of “hard fun” is in reaching towards complexity.
We are going where the learners are: Sugar as a Web app, on Android, or on
iOS, (Sugarizer) and, tracking the growth of the Maker Movement, we now
support Sugar on Raspbian. “It is said that the best way to learn something
is to teach it—and perhaps writing a teaching program is better still in
its insistence on forcing one to consider all possible misunderstandings
and mistakes.” — Seymour Papert
I have made mistakes, but as part of a learning community we will do
“Homework is boring. Looking for bugs is fun.” —Ezequiel Pereira
Let's continue to provide the basis for some fun.
The mission of the Sugar Labs Oversight Board is to ensure the community
has clarity of purpose and the means to attain its goals.
Sugar Labs needs to recognize that our community is *diverse*. Therefore,
there are diverse purposes that may be clear and at the same time opposed.
We should provide a *safe and neutral space* for dialogue on the technology
and education that underlies our projects. We need to approve and
enforce a *code
Finally, the reason for Sugar Labs to exist under the SFC is to *facilitate
the flow of resources* to volunteers with valuable projects. We should
strive to open and fund open calls with funds for development,
infrastructure and end user products.
Sebastian is father to two precious children that are being homeschooled in
collaboration with his dear wife and co-creator Laura Vargas.
As a child, Sebastian learned to program with Logo and soon outgrew it to
be charmed with Python and raise the flag of Free/Libre Software. He loves
writing Sugar Activities; His latest is a collaborative Python IDE
<http://educa.juegos/#sugarlabs_platform_2017> that he hopes you'll love
Currently he lives with his family in a cabin in the Amazon rainforest and
teaches Karate and videogame programming to the kids in the vicinity,
sustaining a lifestyle seeking harmony with nature and providing services
of software artisanship and systems gardening remotely.
Learn more about my background here
Like lot of you I've joined SugarLabs at the beginning of the OLPC project.
As cofounder of OLPC France grassroot <http://olpc-france.org>, I've worked
hard to deploy it on the field and contribute to expand it both in term of
activities and in term of French content. Because the OLPC project and the
XO laptop was declining year after year, I've decided 5 years ago to launch
the Sugarizer <http://sugarizer.org> initiative. My objective was to write
a new page of Sugar history by expanding its compatibility to any device,
specifically the favorite education device of today: tablets. I'm very
proud that today, two deployments already start to use Sugarizer on Android
Deployed on more than 2 millions of devices and supported by millions of
users, Sugar is the #1 learning platform in the world. But we need to
convince this large community that a future exist out of the XO laptop.
It's my ambition as candidate to the SugarLabs Oversight Board. As I've
done in past month as SLOB member, I will support projects where the goal
is to expand the community and give a vision to SugarLabs. Even if it could
hurt sometime, I will also refuse to spend our limited resources on ways
that not fit into its vision. We're all volunteers and our time is
precious, let's continue to invest it where it will be the most useful:
give to learners the better free libre education platform.
My background here <https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/User:Sverma>.
I am a professor in the Information Systems department at San Francisco
State University, in San Francisco, California USA. I also serve on the
Board of Directors of the Drupal Association, which gives me significant
insights into how large FOSS projects work both in the community and the
enterprise. I am the founder of the OLPC San Francisco volunteer community,
that continues to be active around OLPC's original mission and projects
that have grown from that ecosystem, including Sugar, XS, XOVis and others.
My experience with Sugar projects are based on a three-pronged approach:
*Education* Understanding constructivist, constructionist, instructional
and ad-hoc learning models. I look for accommodating for the gap between
what may be prescribed, and what can actually be implemented in the field.
*Technology* Hardware, software, and network combinations that make these
projects work in the “middle of nowhere” communities. My professional
training comes in handy when working on these technology bits. *Social
Context* Understanding social context is the most important of the three
approaches. Providing powerful life-changing educational tools to
communities is not enough unless we also understand their cultural and
social underpinnings. Expected Contribution
To maintain Sugar's technology focus as a medium of delivery, while
maintaining the education message. I hope to bring my skills and expertise
to contribute to the strategic direction of Sugar the project, and its
implementations on any device, anywhere.
I am an independent journalist, formerly working for a large company in IT,
communications, advertising and marketing. As my children are (mostly)
grown, and I set my own work schedule, I will have time to commit to Sugar
again. I have been part of Sugar Labs since 2009, including a term as a
SLOB, and was Marketing Coordinator for 5 years.
The major changes in "educational technology" - from computer lab, to
netbook, to tablet - mean that beyond the XO platform, Sugar must adapt and
indeed is doing so, through Sugarizer and other initiatives. At the same
time, the rapid growth of social media has created new opportunities to
communicate about Sugar, opportunities which are not being seized today.
As a SLOB, I will work to grow our community and to raise awareness of
As its 10-year anniversary quickly approaches, Sugar Labs needs to do more
than survive as a fragile vessel for One Laptop per Child's many still
Sugar Labs can now begin standing up conscientiously in new areas, building
on real-world deliverables *like* Sugarizer 0.9 on Internet-in-a-Box
(a.k.a. the OLPC School Server Community Edition, http://schoolserver.org)
now in use in a very rapidly growing number of countries where the XO
laptop never quite took root:
Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and Google Code-in (GCI) are an amazingly
powerful start to bring us together constructing collaboratively + openly +
coherently -- but these are *not* the only revenue/volunteer streams Sugar
Labs and the Sugar Movement can bank on during its second decade!
All such strategic progress *is* beginning to take shape for an entirely
new generation of DIY Sugar culture. But it is thanks to an underlying
non-chaotic legal and accounting strategy with the Software Freedom
Conservancy that all this is possible.
I have worked for 10 years with Sugar Labs (originally as OLPC's Community
Support Manager) and then as Sugar Labs' liaison/representative to the
Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) for 2 years now to solidify a foundation
I have more 20 years of experience in the field of Education and
Technology. I am currently working at the MIT Jameel World Education Lab
(J-WEL) as the Associate Director PreK-12. I have helped multiple
governments and non-government agencies to empower and support schools and
communities of learners to evolve from traditional teaching methods into
progressive learning environments.
I have a degree in Computer Science/Systems Engineering, a Master's degree
in Educational Media and Technology from Boston University, and a doctorate
degree from the MIT Media Laboratory. During my PhD thesis, I studied the
implications of one to one learning in a rural setting in Latin America,
which provided the knowledge and experience that I brought to the
Interamerican Development Bank as a consultant in the Education Sector, and
later, during 5 years I spent with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) as Director
of Learning. My interests include computational thinking and open-free
software, personalized and digital learning and assessment, curriculum
design, education for developing countries, teacher professional
development, educational programming and robotics, maker education, quality
learning at scale, among others.
During the last year at OLPC, I joined the Sugar Labs board, which allowed
to develop a number of programs, resources and events in collaboration with
Walter Bender and other members of the community. My current position at
MIT and my knowledge of both Sugar Labs and the international educational
community would allow me to bring new opportunities for Sugar Labs. I have
witness the powerful opportunities SugarLabs and the work of the community
have brought to a great number of children and young adults from many
countries in the world. I would like to work hard to try to bring those to
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