Jun 24 2009
LinuxTag, Berlin, June 24, 2009: Sugar Labs™, nonprofit provider of the Sugar Learning Platform to over one-million children worldwide, announces the immediate availability of Sugar on a Stick v1 Strawberry. Available free for download at www.sugarlabs.org, Sugar on a Stick can be loaded onto an ordinary 1GB USB flash drive and used to reboot any PC or netbook directly into the award-winning Sugar environment. It runs on recent Macs with a helper CD and in Windows using virtualization. Sugar on a Stick is designed to work with a School Server that can provide content distribution, homework collection, backup services, Moodle integration, and filtered access to the Internet. Today’s Strawberry release is meant for classroom testing; feedback will be incorporated into the next version, available towards the end of 2009.
“One year after its founding, Sugar Labs is delivering on its education promise for its second million learners,” commented Walter Bender, founder and executive director. “Sugar is preferred because it is a superior learning experience for young children: engaging while being affordable. Sugar on a Stick is a great way to try Sugar without touching your computer’s hard disk. It is also well suited to slower, older PCs and low-powered netbooks. There is a version for the OLPC XO-1 and it will ship with the newer XO-1.5 laptops in the fall.”
Sugar on a Stick provides a coherent and consistent computing experience. It reduces costs by providing flexibility in hardware choices, allowing schools to keep their existing investment in hardware. Learners can benefit from the increased household ownership of computers; by bringing Sugar on a Stick home, every student has a consistent, comparable computing environment that parents can share in as well. It also provides off-line access to applications and content as not every learner has Internet access at home.
As part of an ongoing effort to make Sugar on a Stick classroom-ready, Sugar Labs has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Gould Charitable Foundation to implement Sugar at the Gardner Pilot Academy, a public elementary school located in one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse sections of Boston, Massachusetts.
Learning Activities are at the heart of Sugar. Sugar on a Stick includes 40 Activities to interest young learners such as Read, Write, Paint, and Etoys. Hundreds more Activities are available free for download at the Sugar Activity Library. Most “Sugarized” Activities have student collaboration built-in; students and teachers work, play, and learn on the same Activities together. The Sugar Learning Platform is open, so by leveraging the work of other open source projects, existing software for children can be integrated; for example, the acclaimed GCompris suite of 100 Activities developed over the past five years by Bruno Coudoin was recently added to Sugar, including Activities such as Chess, Geography, and Sudoku. Teachers and parents interested in Sugar’s Activities and its modern interface for children can watch short videos on the recently opened Sugar Labs Dailymotion channel.
Visitors to LinuxTag are welcome to speak with Sugar Labs contributors at booth 7.2a 110a.
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