CFS SoaS pilot: Summary for the week

February 28, 2010 at 10:38 pm (Sugar)

Filmed Tuesday February 23rd.

I’m testing the thumbdrive- I’m going through the Sugar Activities to see what would be interesting for the kids.

I’m thinking how to introduce to unit to the children… talking about how communities – the general idea the kids have is that in communities, people get together, they work together, they agree on things, they have peace and love <laughs> and they show respect.

We’re going to focus first on neighborhoods, the communities where they live. They actually have the homework of thinking about what they see in their neighborhood, so they have to figure out where they live, what neighborhoods they belong to, and what is their street- where they live. I asked them to do some visualization of their neighborhood and they got to tell about what they saw on their way to school this morning from their house.

<looks to the side> What? (Mel, from the side: You were talking at dinner about how they were really excited…) So I saw this neighborhood, and I said that we would study two other neighborhoods, I said our school community, which is the community where you work, so they’re ok with that, and then I said the third is an open source community called Sugar Labs. And I wrote “Sugar Labs,” and they said “Sugar? Labs?” And I forgot what one kid said, but I said “oh, lab, it’s like a laboratory.”

And I gave a very generic description of open source community – it’s where people who take time from their lives to develop software, applications, for other people to use for free, and then I referenced the DS and the games they have that they have to buy and pay money for. And I said the open source community people believe that there should be some things that should be available to anybody in this world for free. I think it’s like “huh?” <laughs>

And that’s when I said “remember when my niece Mel, and…” and then they said “SEBASTIAN!” And then I said “Uh huh.” And (as kids:) “Oh! Oh!” And then they got really excited. (As teacher:) “We will not start right away!” <laughs>

But then they… because I told their parents [about the SoaS pilot] in their [weekly classroom] newsletter and apparently some parents told their kids, so one kid, yesterday, Monday, when we got back from break, said “Are we going to work on the computers?” I said “Yes, soon…” And then today he said “My mom said we’re gonna work on Sugar.” And then he said “My dad said we’re gonna have Sugar on a Stick.” So I said “What does that mean, Sugar on a Stick?” (As kid:) “Sugar on a Stick!” (As teacher, joking:) “You mean to say… something sweet, on a stick?” <laughs> All he knows is that he’s got to be excited about Sugar on a Stick. He was quite excited about it.

But I think they are excited about it. So… <laughs> So we’ll see. They might start saying “Oh, Lynne May, you said we’re going to have Sugar on a Stick! Where is it? Where is it?” By… tomorrow, they might clamor for it. I’ll ask them to be patient.

(Melanie, behind the camera: So you’re going to actually start introducing it next week?) I will see if I can start introducing it on Friday. Or… yeah, maybe on Friday, or if not earlier, Thursday, to begin to. But it will be great to be introduce it when they have the computer, right? And I don’t think we are that ready yet to have the computers in the classroom. I mean, we meaning me and the kids. Because first week back from break, I have to get them back on the routine. After being away for a week. You know, they sort of get excited as if it’s the first week of school.

Anyway. So some of the things I’ve been thinking about is a [paper] journal that they would have a… when they will upload blog entries or when they’re thinking about bug reports, that they would write there. (Melanie, from behind the camera: Battery runs out in 30 seconds.) That’s ok, I won’t go on too long. So I’m working on tweaking on what it should look like. I have a prototype, I will see if that works.

That’s it for now. I’m kinda sleepy. <laughs> (Melanie, holding the camera: That’s ok, thank you.) Bye.

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New Ticket For The Write Activity

February 28, 2010 at 10:37 pm (Sugar)

We found some bugs in the Write activity when we were testing this weekend, so here is the ticket and some videos depicting the issues found in the activity.

Video One:

Video Two:

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CFS Soas Laptops

February 14, 2010 at 6:26 am (Sugar)

-originally written on 2-13-10, in the pm hours-


Hi. This is Melanie. I’m the kid of Lynne May, the first grade teacher for the Cambridge Friends School Sugar on a Stick pilot, and a deployment support team member for the pilot. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to be doing, but I want to help out. So far it looks like I’ll be writing some documentation for the project. I’d been eavesdropping on conversations between Mel and my mom so I knew they were planning a pilot. Partly because I was interested in the process of deployment, partly because their conversations about how curriculum would be built around various Sugar programs intrigued me, and partly because it apparently counts as part of the 80 hours of community service I need to graduate, I agreed to help out. I was introduced to the XO laptops by Mel a while ago, was involved with a ILXO, a grassroots group of OLPC that was together for a summer a couple years ago, and am a current user of Fedora. This is the first “actual” project that I will be helping out with, so there are a lot of unknowns to me. I know how my mom runs her classroom, and I know what Sugar is capable of. It’ll be really interesting to see how those two connect. I’ll be watching the pilot develop and become successful over the next few months.

Geez, that was longer than I intended. Oh well.

This evening Mel and I installed Fedora 12 (the XFCE spin) onto three multicolored (red, silver, blue) acer Aspire One netbooks that were bought for the pilot. The silver one, which will be known as Hedwig in the classroom (upon my mother’s suggestion, we took the names of the laptops from creatures from Harry Potter; apparently, my mom’s students are into wizards, and enjoy casting spells with paintbrushes) had some issues. When we ran Firefox it crashed every time we tried accessing a website other than the Fedora website, the default home page. We attempted to fix the problem by looking at the errors received in terminal, but the errors we got weren’t uncommon enough to pinpoint the specific problem. In the end, we reinstalled Fedora, and it worked fine after that. The other two machines had no installation problems.

After installing, I played around with the netbooks for a little bit. I downloaded Adobe Flash Player for Firefox, etc. I have discovered that the speaker quality on the laptops isn’t amazing, but they’ll be good enough. The mouse button has some pros and cons: on the netbook it appears as one long bar, but it actually has right and left mouse buttons. Then again, there are right and left mouse buttons!

Also, the scroll pad next to the mouse pad works with Fedora! We weren’t sure if it would still function after we got rid of Windows 7, the original OS on the laptops, but it did! -happiness-

The battery life is also all right. It lasts a good four hours without a charger. That should be enough for classroom use. I’ve been jumping between windows on Fluffy (blue) and Hedwig for the past hour.

…Actually, correction: we actually DO have unresolved problems. I unplugged the charger on Hedwig just now…and it died. Turns out the battery wasn’t in all the way, so I pushed it in and locked into place, but attempts to restart it results in not booting up properly. It gives me a black screen with white text that confuses me.

Eh, it’s one o’clock. I should sleep. Will maybe fix problem tomorr- no, later today. We’ll probably end up reinstalling yet again. That’s the easiest route to take, heh.

-sigh- Dear Hedwig, we haven’t even introduced you to the first graders and you’re already being angry.

You should expect to receive future documentation on the project, but I’m not sure how soon something that is worth noting will appear or who it’ll come from. Someone will keep you posted.

Good night, and [hope you had} Happy Valentines Day/Happy Lunar New Year/ [hope you have a good] Mardi Gra!

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Hello world!

February 14, 2010 at 3:12 am (Uncategorized)

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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