SUGAR LABS
CULTURE AND PEDAGOGY

What makes Sugar different?


  • Sugar facilitates sharing and collaboration: Children can write, share books, or make music together with a single mouse-click.
  • Activities, not applications: Sugar activities are applicable beyond the scope of the classroom and even Sugar itself.
  • Automatic backup of Activity work; no worrying about files or folders. Sugar’s Journal makes it almost impossible to lose any data.
  • The Journal records everything you do: It is a place to reflect upon and evaluate your work.
  • Sugar runs on most computer hardware, including slower machines.
  • Sugar is Free (Libre) Software: It is written in the Python language and easily customized.
  • Sugar is documented by its users: It is easy to use and teachers worldwide have created a wealth of pedagogical materials for it.
  • Sugar is written by its users: 50% of the updates to our latest release came directly from our users.

What are the benefits of using Sugar?


  • Hundreds of tools for discovery through exploring, expressing, and sharing: browsing, writing, etc.
  • Built-in collaboration system: peer-to-peer learning; always-on support; and single-click sharing.
  • The Journal is a built-in portfolio assessment tool that serves as a forum for discussion between children, parents, and teachers.
  • A discoverable learning platform: it uses simple means to reach to complex ends.
  • Designed for local appropriation: it has built-in tools for making changes and improvements and a growing global community of support. 25 languages are currently available.
  • An emphasis on learning through doing and debugging: more engaged learners are able to tackle authentic problems.
  • Available in a wide variety of forms: as part of GNU/Linux distributions; LiveCD, LiveUSB; and in a virtual machine.

What are the Sugar advantages?


  • Superior pedagogical framework
  • Unique collaboration and journaling (evaluation) features
  • Large & successful installed base with hundreds of activities
  • Large and committed community base (both developers and teachers)
  • 24/7 community support; training and workshop materials available
  • Rapidly expanding teacher-driven development
  • Easily localizable and customizable
  • Free open source software: no licensing fees
  • A global project: no single point of dependency or failure

A “learning-centric” approach


  • At Sugar Labs, we strive for a “learning-centric” approach, where teachers mentor students as they engage with powerful ideas, “teaching less and learning more.” While we want to give children access to knowledge—through media such as electronic books, the world-wide web, and multimedia—we also want them to acquire this knowledge by putting it to use and engaging in critical dialog. With Sugar, we help learners acquire knowledge by giving them tools that make them consumers, critics, and creators of knowledge; Sugar welcomes them as members of a learning community. Cross-community collaboration between technologists and teachers ensures that the ideals of freedom, sharing, open critique, and transparency will be part of the interface to learning that touches children in the world’s classrooms.

The Free (Libre) Software culture


  • The Sugar pedagogy is embodied in the culture of Free/Libre Software; teachers and students are empowered with both the freedom to act and the freedom to be critical. Criticism of ideas is a powerful force in learning and in fostering economic development; unleashing that is an important part of the mission.