[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] 2017 Goals for Sugar Labs

Mariah Noelle Villarreal villarrealmn at gmail.com
Tue Apr 11 10:34:44 EDT 2017

I will take time this afternoon to combine all of what is being said in the
thread at wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/2017_Goals

This way we can move over to the wiki and add our particular goals,
objectives, and actions in one place.

Also, I would really appreciate the bickering and insults on this thread to
come to an end. This is an international volunteer community. We should be
mindful of language barriers and cultural differences between us.

I've followed this thread for years and don't jump in often because of the
constant bickering. The time is better spent formulating these ideas,
documenting them and then actually doing them.

Look out this afternoon for updates on the wiki a the address I mentioned


On Apr 11, 2017 9:51 AM, "Caryl Bigenho" <cbigenho at hotmail.com> wrote:

Hi Folks,

First, thanks go to Walter for the very comprehensive review of Sugar Labs
and what has been done and is currently being done. It is very helpful.
However, it, in no sense of the words, represents goals and objectives for
SL going forward.

I know Sameer really does want to share more with us to assist in
developing a viable list of goals and objectives, but I also know he is
very busy with his teaching job.  So, I have taken the time to find a
couple of resources from education that show what goals and objectives
really are and how the activities we choose to undertake are related. These
resources are attached.

The next thing that needs to be done is to go through Walter's fine
document and identify all the specific areas Sugar Labs works with and
write one goal for each. Don't do anything else until these goals are
written. These should be done in a sharable online document. Everyone who
wants to participate should be encouraged to do so. There should be no
special priority attached to any of these goals. At this point they would
be of equal value.

There should be one goal for each area... I suggest we start with these 4
broad areas:

   1. Sugar
   2. Sugarizer
   3. Stand Alone Projects
   4. School Server

Each goal should be concise and precise. *Preferably one sentence.* Under
each goal go objectives. There can be *more than one* objective per goal.

An objective should follow the form of *Who* is going to do *What* by *When*
and *How* will success be measured.

A goal can have several objectives under it... for example, the objectives
for Sugar could have objectives addressing both Raspian and Trisquel (two
separate categories).

Once the objectives are filled in, it will be time to start working on
activities. These will include actual activities like producing a new
version of Sugarizer, conducting a Music Blocks workshop, showing Sugar
Labs "products" and recruiting users and volunteers at Linux conferences
and educational conferences, etc.

After this every project proposed can be analyzed with the question in
mind, "How does this project help Sugar Labs achieve its stated objectives
(and thus its goals as well).

Please! Someone start a doc for this to all happen. Begin with just the 4
(or 5 if you want to separate Raspian and Trisquel). Make a simple goal for
each. Then collaborate on getting the goals "just right" before moving on
to objectives.

Then do the same thing for objectives.

This may seem like a lot of "busy work." But, trust me it isn't. It will
give Sugar Labs a strong platform to work from, enabling the best use of
limited time and resources.


*From:* IAEP <iaep-bounces at lists.sugarlabs.org> on behalf of Laura Vargas <
laura at somosazucar.org>
*Sent:* Monday, April 10, 2017 7:31:18 AM
*To:* Samson Goddy
*Cc:* SLOBs; iaep; sugar-devel; Dave Crossland
*Subject:* Re: [IAEP] [Sugar-devel] 2017 Goals for Sugar Labs

Thank you Samson

Then I guess the email format is not the best choice. Could you please
document it on a wiki page at the Sugar Labs wiki?

Blessings and a nice week to all

Laura Victoria

2017-04-10 8:25 GMT-05:00 Samson Goddy <samsongoddy at gmail.com>:

> If i am wrong, walter made it clear earlier that this is a "draft
> proposal" meaning you can input.
> Samson
> On Apr 10, 2017 2:15 PM, "Laura Vargas" <laura at somosazucar.org> wrote:
> 2017-04-09 19:03 GMT-05:00 Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com>:
>> On Sun, Apr 9, 2017 at 7:56 PM, Dave Crossland <dave at lab6.com> wrote:
>>> Hi
>>> Thanks Walter. I'd like to better understand some additional context
>>> before diving in :)
>>> Does this mean Sameer you have stopped the project planning process you
>>> started, and we should not expect you to restart it again?
>> At the most recent SLOB meeting Samson brought up the fact that we were
>> still waiting and so I volunteered to write something up to get the
>> conversation going again.
> Thanks for doing this Walter,
> After a quick read, I have to confess I feel sad and excluded because none
> of the projects I have worked on [1] is mentioned on your view of Sugar's
> history.
> Regards and blessings,
> Laura V
>  [1] http://pe.sugarlabs.org/ir/Proyectos
>>> Walter, are these the goals for this year, or are they your proposal for
>>> the goals for this year?
>> Not sure I understand what you are asking. I wrote up a draft of goals
>> but they are not "the goals" until we agree to them.
>> regards.
>> -walter
>>> On Apr 9, 2017 3:31 PM, "Walter Bender" <walter.bender at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> As per the discussion in the last Suagr Labs Oversight Board Meeting, I
>>>> had agreed to write a draft statement of goals for 2017. The document below
>>>> includes feedback from Samson G. I hope this document can serve to
>>>> revitalize our discussion from 2016 that never reached resolution.
>>>> Sugar Labs Plans, Goals, Aspirations
>>>> What is Sugar Labs?
>>>> Sugar Labs creates, distributes, and maintains learning software for
>>>> children. Our approach to learning is grounded in Constructionism, a
>>>> pedagogy developed by Seymour Papert and his colleagues in the 1960s and
>>>> 70s at MIT. Papert pioneered the use of the computer by children to help
>>>> engage them in the “construction of knowledge.” His long-time colleague
>>>> Cynthia Solomon expanded up his ideas by introducing the concept of
>>>> engaging children in debugging as a pathway into problem-solving. Their
>>>> 1971 paper, “Twenty things to do with a computer”, is arguably the genesis
>>>> of contemporary movements such as the Maker Movement and Hour of Code.
>>>> At the core of Constructionism is “learning through doing.” If you want
>>>> more learning, you want more doing. At Sugar Labs we provide tools to
>>>> promote doing. (We focus almost exclusively on tools, not instructional
>>>> materials.) However, we go beyond “doing” by incorporating critical dialog
>>>> and reflection into the Sugar learning environment, through mechanisms for
>>>> collaboration, journaling, and portfolio.
>>>> Sugar Labs is a spinoff of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project and
>>>> consequently it has inherited many of its goals from that project. The goal
>>>> of OLPC is to bring the ideas of Constructionism to scale in order to reach
>>>> more children. A particular focus is on children in the developing world.
>>>> In order to meet that goal, Sugar, which was originally developed for OLPC,
>>>> was by necessity a small-footprint solution that required few resources in
>>>> terms of CPU, memory, storage, or network connectivity. The major change on
>>>> focus from the OLPC project is that Sugar Labs strives to make the Sugar
>>>> desktop available to multiple platforms, not just the OLPC XO hardware.
>>>> Who develops Sugar?
>>>> Sugar Labs is a 100% volunteer effort (although we do occasionally
>>>> raise money for paid student internships). Sugar development and
>>>> maintenance is incumbent upon volunteers and hence we strive to provide as
>>>> much control as possible to our community members, including our end-users.
>>>> (In fact, one of our assertions is that by enabling our users to
>>>> participate in the development of the tools that they use will lead to
>>>> deeper engagement in their own learning.) Towards these ends, we chose the
>>>> GPL as our primary license. It has been said of the GPL that it “restricts
>>>> my right [as a developer] to restrict yours [as a user and potential
>>>> developer]”, which seems ideal for a project that wants to engage a broad
>>>> and diverse set of learners. But at Sugar Labs we go beyond the usual goals
>>>> of FOSS: a license to make changes to the code is not enough to ensure that
>>>> users make changes. We also strive to provide the means to make changes.
>>>> Our success in this goal is best reflected in the number of patches we
>>>> receive from our community. (We achieve this goal through providing access
>>>> to source code and development tools within Sugar itself. We also actively
>>>> participate in workshops and internship programs such as Google Summer of
>>>> Code, Outreaching, and Google Code-In.)
>>>> Who uses Sugar?
>>>> Ultimately, our goal is to reach learners (and educators) with powerful
>>>> tools and engage them in Constructionist learning. Currently we reach them
>>>> in many ways: the majority of our users get the Sugar desktop preinstalled
>>>> on OLPC XO hardware. We have a more modest set of users who get Sugar
>>>> packaged in Fedora, Trisquel, Debian, Ubuntu, or other GNU/Linux platforms.
>>>> Some users get Sugar on Live Media (i.e., Sugar on a Stick). Recently
>>>> Sugarizer, a repackaging of some of the core Sugar ideas for the browser,
>>>> has been finding its way to some users. There are also a number of Sugar
>>>> activities that are popular outside of the context Sugar itself, for
>>>> example, Turtle Blocks, which has wide-spread use in India. Harder to
>>>> measure is the extent to which Sugar has influenced other providers of
>>>> “educational” software. If the Sugar pedagogy is incorporated by others,
>>>> that advances our goal.
>>>> Who supports Sugar?
>>>> When we first created Sugar Labs, we envisioned “Local Labs”—hence the
>>>> name “Sugar Labs”, plural—that would provide local support in terms of
>>>> local-language support, training, curriculum development, and
>>>> customizations. This model has not ever gained the scale and depth
>>>> envisioned (we can debate the reasons why), although there are still some
>>>> active local communities (e.g., Educa Paraguay) that continue to work
>>>> closely with the broader community. There are also individual volunteers,
>>>> such as Tony Anderson and T.K. Kang, who help support individual schools in
>>>> Rwanda, Malaysia, et al. An open question is how do we support our users
>>>> over the long term?
>>>> What is next for Sugar?
>>>> We face several challenges at Sugar Labs. With the ebb of OLPC, we have
>>>> a contracting user base and the number of professional developers
>>>> associated with the project is greatly diminished. How can we expand our
>>>> user base? How can we attract more experienced developers? Why would they
>>>> want to work on Sugar as opposed to some other project? The meta issue is
>>>> how do we keep Sugar relevant in a world of Apps and small, hand-held
>>>> devices? Can we meet the expectations of learners living in a world of
>>>> fast-paced, colorful interfaces? How do we ensure that it is fulfilling its
>>>> potential as a learning environment and that our users, potential users,
>>>> and imitators are learning about and learning from Sugar. Some of this is a
>>>> matter of marketing; some of this is a matter of staying focused on our
>>>> core pedagogy; some of this a matter of finding strategic partners with
>>>> whom we can work.
>>>> We have several near-term opportunities that we should leverage:
>>>> * Raspian: The Raspberry PI 3.0 is more than adequate to run Sugar—the
>>>> experience rivals or exceeds that of the OLPC XO 4.0 hardware. While RPi is
>>>> not the only platform we should be targeting, it does has broad penetration
>>>> into the Maker community, which shares a synergy with our emphasis on
>>>> “doing”. It is low-hanging fruit. With a little polish we could have an
>>>> image available for download from the RPi website.
>>>> * Trisquel: We have the potential for better leveraging the Free
>>>> Software Foundation as a vehicle for promoting Sugar. Their distro of
>>>> choice is Trisquel and the maintainer does a great job of keep the Sugar
>>>> packages up to date.
>>>> * Sugarizer: The advantage of Sugarizer is that it has the potential of
>>>> reaching orders of magnitude more users since it is web-based and runs in
>>>> Android and iOS. There is some work to be done to make the experience
>>>> palatable on small screens and the current development environment is—at
>>>> least my opinion—not scalable or maintainable. The former is a formidable
>>>> problem. The latter quite easy to address.
>>>> * Stand-alone projects such as Music Blocks have merit as long as they
>>>> maintain both a degree of connection with Sugar and promote the values of
>>>> the community. It is not certain that these projects will lead users
>>>> towards Sugar, but they do promote FOSS and Constructionist principles. And
>>>> they have attracted new developers to the Sugar community.
>>>> * School-server: The combination of the School Server and Sugar desktop
>>>> is a technical solution to problems facing small and remote communities. We
>>>> should continue to support and promote this combination.
>>>> Specific actions: After last year’s Libre Planet conference, several
>>>> community members discussed a marketing strategy for Sugar. We thought that
>>>> if we could reach influencers, we might be able to greatly amplify our
>>>> efforts. There are several prominent bloggers and pundits in the education
>>>> arena who are widely read and who might be receptive to what we are doing.
>>>> One significant challenge is that GNU/Linux remains on the far periphery of
>>>> the Ed Tech world. Although the “love affair” with all things Apple seems
>>>> to be over, the new elephant in the room—Chromebooks and Google Docs—is
>>>> equally difficult to co-exist with. Personally, I see the most potential
>>>> synergy with the Maker movement, which is building up momentum in
>>>> extra-curricular programs, where FOSS and GNU-Linux are welcome (hence my
>>>> earlier focus on RPi). (There are even some schools that are building their
>>>> entire curriculum around PBL.) We can and should develop and run some
>>>> workshops that can introduce Sugar within the context of the Maker
>>>> movement. (Toward that end, I have been working with some teachers on how
>>>> to leverage, for example, Turtle Blocks for 3D printing.) It is very much a
>>>> tool-oriented community with little overall discussion of architectural
>>>> frameworks, so we have some work to do. But there is lots of low-hanging
>>>> fruit there.
>>>> regards.
>>>> -walter
>>>> --
>>>> Walter Bender
>>>> Sugar Labs
>>>> http://www.sugarlabs.org
>>>> <http://www.sugarlabs.org>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
>>>> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
>>>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
>> --
>> Walter Bender
>> Sugar Labs
>> http://www.sugarlabs.org
>> <http://www.sugarlabs.org>
>> _______________________________________________
>> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
>> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
> --
> Laura V.
> *I&D SomosAZUCAR.Org*
> “No paradox, no progress.”
> ~ Niels Bohr
> Happy Learning!
> _______________________________________________
> Sugar-devel mailing list
> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel

Laura V.
*I&D SomosAZUCAR.Org*

“No paradox, no progress.”
~ Niels Bohr

Happy Learning!

IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
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