[OLPC-Philippines] A change of focus

Carlos Nazareno object404 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 22 03:23:40 EST 2009

Great to hear about that Jerome! We need more Sugar devs for Sugar to work.

I just realized that programming at 9 or 10 yrs old isn't really
normal even with PCs available at an early age, and Sugar is a
fantastic way to get kids weaned on computers ;P heheh

I just made a Sugar on a Stick Stick but unfortunately it really
doesn't seem to like my workstation's motherboard :-/ Maybe my ISO
copy may have not been downloaded properly. Will try it out on other
systems muna and see how it goes.

Re: OLPC Ph direction: there's actually multiple problems we're trying
to attack (example: education improvement and poverty eradication go
hand in hand) and there are more than enough volunteers/interested
Filipinos who can help on different aspects. For me actually, the more
important problem that needs to be attacked is the educational content
per se that can be developed with Department of Education and other
countries that hopefully can be contributed upstream globally as we're
native English speakers.

I don't think there's a need to put aside some of the important goals
for the sake of other important ones. I suggest instead forming
Special Interest Groups within OLPC Ph to tackle specific areas. For
example, I don't think most developers here in the Ph are Linux or
Python programmers so we might not be able to help out in the Sugar
front as much, but be we can do help on other problems that need to be

Also, remember that monoculture breeds weakness, so let's attack these
problems on different fronts.

Some core areas I see:

1) Affordable hardware/computing
2) Specific software as a deployment platform for educational content
3) Relevant educational content
4) Sugar to intro computer software to kids, creating sugar content,
and making sugar more cross-platform
5) test & look into the different OSes (and Linux flavors) on which
software content can be deployed
6) Existing case studies + creating new ones on how bridging the
digital divide to the less fortunate can work as a force multiplier in
eradicating poverty and ignorance.

Again, I believe too that there's more than enough interest in
volunteers and contributors here in the Ph to look into these areas.
Almost person I've shown the XO to goes "how do I get involved?". It's
just a matter of managing the people who want to tackle the different
areas that we're intertwined in.

I attribute a significant chunk of my knowledge through inquisitive
exposure to educational games as a kid, and I hope that kids who
previously did not have access to those be given the chance to do so.

The question of which computing paradigm can be used with kids in
grade school has always been an important one for us since software is
shifting all the time (out the window has gone my Lotus & Wordperfect
training in school ;P). Sugar + its different activities can be
pitched to answer this question (especially since the schoolyear is
about to end and the next is going to start in June! Start talking to
institutions about running a pilot Sugar grade school deployment!). It
sure is much swankier than just the LOGO (which was also co-created by
Seymour Papert) we had on Apple IIs in grade school :)

All the best,


P.S. After more thinking maybe it's better to just jam with Xavier
School's existing 1-to-1 computing and see how their best practices
can be transferred upstream. I just realized that Xavier isn't really
the proper target for XO laptops as they don't really have a need for
ruggedized or low-power computing at this point, and it's really
better to deploy XO units where's they're meant to be. Cheers!

On Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 9:57 AM, Jerome Gotangco <jgotangco at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I just sent this email to let everyone know that I'm more focusing now
> on Sugar rather than OLPC. I feel that doing more with Sugar has a
> bigger impact to a much wider audience without the potential gridlocks
> associated with hardware related issues. I still believe in the vision
> and goals of OLPC, but at the same time, the decoupling of Sugar makes
> this more possible at a much quicker pace with more people involved
> which is pretty much in line with the spirit of open source
> development and transparency.
> Don't get me wrong though, I still love the XO-1 as a tool and
> technology product, but Sugar is the future.
> My suggestion towards future discussion, along with the follow up to
> our meetup last month is to go towards this route as unanimously
> agreed upon. I feel that us being involved in Sugar will have a wider
> impact to upstream and a much much wider audience locally. We could
> perhaps set up a separate list for that.
> Best,
> Jerome G.

carlos nazareno
user group manager
phlashers: philippine flash actionscripters
adobe flash/flex/air community
interactive media specialist
zen graffiti studios
"if you don't like the way the world is running,
then change it instead of just complaining."

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