Thursday, July 30, 2009

from sugar to blogger

Friday 31st July:
The goal of the lesson today is to access the internet and your blog login ( through Sugar.

Read this blog to see how to connect to the internet: Connecting to the internet through SoaS

Then open an activity that you like or want to explore today. Do something using the activity and then take a screenshot (Prt Scr key). Do enough to make the screenshot interesting. The screenshot will appear in the Journal. Remember, the Journal saves everything.

Now upload the screenshot to your blog by clicking on the Add Image icon in blogger. The Choose File or Browse button will take you to the Sugar journal, so then just click on the Screenshot and Save in Blogger.

Also write a description of the activity you used today, the more detail in your description the better.

I have modelled the process I want you to follow below:

Here is a screenshot of the Calculator activity calculating tan 45

I found out that the Calculator has algebraic, trigonometric and boolean features.

There seems to be an error in the trigonomety because tan 45 = 1.62 whether set on degrees or radians. That is correct for radians but it should change to tan 45 = 1.0000 for degrees. On the SoaS version the degrees / radians button is found under the Miscellaneous tab. Maybe I am missing something but it seems to me to be a bug in this version of Calculator.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Timor Leste presentation

I asked Rosemary and David Rowe to present to the class about their recent visit to Timor Leste. David and I are part of a group which is looking at introducing some xos to Timor Leste (Seaton OLPC Users Group), aka East Timor.

Rosemary was the main presenter and she did a great job of intermingling both the socio-economic situation with various computing initiatives originating from missionary and Non Government Organisations (NGOs). The students were a wonderful attentive audience and took a lot of notes. I told them they have to type up a report, with some images from Rosemary's slides, of the presentation by Friday and mentioned the dreaded homework word. From the sidebar I notice that some drafts have gone up already. It's a good class.

Thank you, Rosemary and David :-)

course outline

SACE Stage 1 assessment plan summary

FOCUS AREA: Systems and Control Products
CONTEXT: Computer Systems

OVERALL TASK SUMMARY: Produce and evaluate a software product for a real audience that could be used to help explain the potential of the XO and / or Sugar to help educate the children in developing countries


1) Investigate the xo hardware and Sugar software and explain its social potential (20%)

Student communication: blog, photos

2) Investigate and critically analyse the different types of Sugar software (20%)

Student communication: blog, screenshots

3) With a partner document your plans to make a software product using some part or parts of the Sugar software. After you have made it you will then use your software product to explain the power of the xo or Sugar to another student or students (not in this class) (20%)

Student communication: wiki

4) Make the software product, with your partner. Then present what you have made with an explanation to both peers (not in this class) and the teacher for evaluation. Part of the marks will be awarded for the amount of skill involved in the final product. (40%)

Student communication: wiki, evaluation sheet

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

connecting to internet through SoaS

If you don't know by now what SoaS stands for: Sugar on a Stick


Open Browse (it's a Sugar activity)
in the address bar type: about:config
In the Filter box type: proxy

Double click on the following and set these values:
network.proxy.http_port 8080
network.proxy.sll_port 8080
network.proxy.type 1 is the IP address of our school proxy server

Now try to connect to the internet

You should now be able to write your blogger blogs and play with Sugar at the same time.

Thanks to phoozle for help with this

saving Write files to a second USB stick

At this early stage I want the students to explore the Sugar OS and Activities and then write about what they have discovered in their blogs.

For Mondays lesson (27th July) I didn't have internet access through Sugar on a Stick (SoaS). Also at this stage collaboration is not working out of the box (will discuss this later).

So my plan was for students to record their impressions in Write and then transfer that file to their own USB stick so that they had text as a basis for a future blog. Apart from this requirement they were free to explore whatever they wanted.

I did a review of these basics:
  • F3 Home
  • F4 Current activity
  • Point the mouse pointer to a corner to show the Frame which contains the journal icon, the icons of open activities and other useful information (even the IP address of your computer!)
  • Everything is saved automatically in the Journal - showed them how to access the journal
  • Hover over icons to obtain options such as Quit
  • Favourites View and List View options from Home screen
I asked them to open Write and to begin to record some impressions.

Here is how to save your Write file on a second USB stick

What I found out (afterwards) is that the Default save is in ODT format. Since we don't actually have Open Office installed on all machines at my school then this is an issue for when we swap back to our Windows environment. Just checked then, Word is unfriendly to the ODT format in line with their tradition of sabotaging open standards. This provides me with another opportunity to talk about the hostility of MS to open standards.

Click Activity tab, hover over the icon, wait until the RTF option appears and save as an RTF. Then navigate to the Journal, find the RTF file, click on the corresponding arrow on the right hand side (RHS). Then hover over the Copy icon, wait until your second USB icon appears and click on that. This will save the file to your second USB.

This workaround provided a good opportunity to show the students some of the features of the Sugar system, that the USBs can be seen in the Frame, that you can copy files to a USB through the Sugar GUI (Linux Terminal not required)

In a future lesson I will point out that this same method can be used to transfer a screen shot to their own USB stick. Just press the Prt Scr key to take the screenshot.

The main activity that students are playing with is Physics. Initially they just played with the gravity feature. Some of them made games with Physics. In this last lesson they were using the motor feature. We tried to save a Physics screen but it did not save, sadly. This will limit what we can do with it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

xo and sugar first impressions

This is the teacher's blog for a year 10 class somewhere in South Australia in second semester 2009 investigating the potential of the xo and sugar software

Check out the sidebar for student's first impressions