Sugar Labs releases SoaS Mirabelle, Sugar Creation Kit

Sugar Labs recently announced their latest build of Sugar on a Stick (codename: MIRABELLE), along with the Sugar Creation Kit.

See a Mirabelle retrospective by one of the contributing developers, and the inimitable Mel Chua’s take on lessons to be learned from the process.

Scratch the World! ANIMATE contest & updated Sugar activity

For those who haven’t noticed Scratch taking over the world, OLPC France published a lovely essay about the contest and the value of Scratch and Etoys for young students.

La promesse selon laquelle le projet CEIBAL donnerait aux élèves du pays des perspectives de réduction du fossé numérique et d’inclusion numérique n’est pas vaine, puisqu’ils sont désormais en mesure d’échanger d’égal à égal avec les jeunes créateurs Scratch appartenant à une communauté internationale à laquelle on doit déjà près d’un million de projets (projets Scratch) de par le monde.

The promise that CEIBAL would address the digital divide and digital inclusion for the nationls’ students is not in vain, since they are now on an equal footing with the young  Scratch artists in an international community which has produced nearly a million Scratch projects.

In Uruguay, Efecto Cine and Plan CEIBAL are running an “ANIMATE” contest through June 15 for the best Scratch submissions by students across Uruguay. Ten winners will be announced, with the top four receiving mini-DV cameras for their schools. (Rules)

Meanwhile, an updated Scratch activity is being developed with full Journal and camera integration, and a new activity release is expected within the week.  Kudos to everyone working on the project.

Efecto Cine and Plan CEIBAL are running an “ANIMATE” contest through June 15 for the best Scratch submissions by students across Uruguay. Ten winners will be announced, with the top four receiving mini-DV cameras for their schools. (Rules)

FoodForce2 update: facelift and new website

Foodforce2 team has released a stable release of FoodForce2 activity, and has refreshed its website at www.foodforce2.com.  (Aside from the delicious but lapsed Rollca Rollcats, this makes it the first Sugar activity to develop its own site!)  FF2 saw a great response this summer, with close to 150 thousand downloads over 6 months after the Beta version was released in May. This game has been developed to make the children learn to apply their education to build a self-sustainable village and learn to trade and strategize in a fun way.

You are given responsibility of the village during an important wedding.
You are given responsibility of the village during an important wedding.
The team welcomes your feedback and would like to encourage you to give the game a try. The new release has lots of improvements, with an improved story and interface, better save/resume, customizable building placement, and the fantastic panoramic photographs from its earlier versions.  Details after the jump.

XO 1.5: Create, Collaborate, Contribute

As the mystery around the XO-1.5 unfurls, take part in something historic! Approximately 30 XO-1.5 B2 units are now available at OLPC in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Given that our supply is limited, we want our allocation to be fair and meritocratic. Here are some key points to remember for this round:

  • Hardware and software developers will get priority over educators.
  • Educators will get in on the next round – the hardware and software need to work first!
  • Certain projects may possibly be vetoed if they are violent or unsuitable in nature.
  • Worldwide shipping and customs/import fees are included in this participation.

Don’t know where to start? Use the following as general starting points for your ideas:

Need something more specific? Here’s a list of suggestions based on notes from Daniel Drake:

  • Voice chat (maybe even VoIP? Imagine the XO doubling up as a phone!)
  • Project Karma, the superb endeavor led by the OLE Nepal team.
  • Physics activity – Can the make-believe “Physics” world interface with the real world? Think sensors!
  • Media editing activity – Going beyond simply “Record“ing on the XO.
  • Programming activities – Building upon Pippy, Develop and maybe even an activity for LOGO.
  • Sustenance activities – Build/improve upon Simcity, FoodForce II, or be inspired by  The Incredible Machine!
  • Ebooks – take a look at the latest Read activity and its support for annotations and formats, and build upon it.
  • Touchpad activity – How do I use the touchpad? A simple but much needed activity.
  • Low level stuff – the new video driver, for instance.
Create, Collaborate, Contribute
Create, Collaborate, Contribute

The Contributors Program is a thriving program that has seeded a whole set of unique and interesting projects around the world. Dare to contribute a Project ranging across educational, technological, and/or outreach initiatives… Want to know more about Contributors Program? Read our FAQ at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Contributors#FAQ

Further XO-1.5 test units will likely not be available until December (around release time of the XO-1.5) so find your muse, get your ideas together, and send them in! Interested folks need to email contributors@laptop.org explaining how their software/development or other projects impacts children. Take a look at this form http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Contributors_program/Project_proposal_form and submit your proposal!

OLPCorps Roundup

As the Corps move forward, we’ve asked each team to post blogs on a variety of key themes revolved around the deployment process.  In the coming weeks we will highlight a few teams who will cover basic issues and statistics ranging from demographics, health, and education infrastructure to the local culture’s perspective on OLPC’s 5 principles and what the children do when they take the XO home.

Today’s post focuses on the diversity of Corps communities and learning environments teams are working in.  The Corps deployments range from urban to rural, 1:1 to 1:3, 6 years old to 12 years old, and high to low student-to-teacher ratio.  We share updates from Uganda, Senegal, and South Africa.

First day of XO Camp at Driehoek, South Africa (from Youtube):

Continue reading OLPCorps Roundup