Sugar – an operating system for learners

Now this is really very exciting. Let me start with explaining how I got here.

The first thing is there are groups such as the One Laptop per child (OLPC) and those within Intel, HP and many companies that are trying to create laptops for the classroom in the K12 segment. These are small form factor devices with limited features and capabilities in terms of processor speeds, memory and storage capacity, designed to be lower cost, extremely rugged and portable. Check out the OLPC XO and the Intel Classmate PC.

The second thing is brilliant. An important part of the experience is the software that the learners see and the first base component is the operating system. The operating system itself has two components – the system components and the graphical user interface. The important consideration is to make the operating system rugged, powerful and at the same time a lot more usable for the K12 audience than Windows or Linux or even the Mac is as of now.

Enter Sugar. Read about the Human Interface guidelines they started with. Look at the tour.

Sugar is built on top of Fedora Linux and provides a new opportunity for all of us learning professionals to relook at how we can use technology and interface design to think out of the box, align whatever we have been talking about in social constructivist learning, Web 2.0 and activity based learning. Whats more, Sugar offers developers a development platform to be able to extend and write new functionality for learning. Check out the activities page.

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