Sugar Labs @ NDSU

Building a smarter computing culture in Fargo, ND

Proposal 1.2 XO Library & Sugar Labs @NDSU

We submitted a proposal in the fall of 2010, but learned that XOs could not be shipped to Sudan because that country is on the terrorist watch list.  We have continued to explore E-toys and Sugar more generally with 4th and 5th graders at Madison Elementary School in Fargo, and have re-conceived of our project, hence Proposal 1.2.
1. Project Title & Shipment Detail
Name of Project: Fargo XO Lending Library and Sugar Labs @ NDSU
Shipping Address You’ve Verified:

Kevin Brooks
Department Chair
Department of English
219A Morill Hall
North Dakota State University
Fargo ND 58108
701-231-7147
Number of Laptops (or other hardware) You Request to Borrow: 10
Loan Length—How Many Months: as long as they will last as part of the Fargo XO Lending Library.

2. Team Participants
Name(s) & Contact Info: (include all email addresses & phone numbers)

Dr. Kevin Brooks, Chair, Department of English, North Dakota State University, Fargo ND 58103.  Kevin.Brooks@ndsu.edu. 701.231-7147.
Dr. Brian Slator, Chair, Department of Computer Science, NDSU. Brian.Slator@ndsu.edu.

Employer and/or School: Both members employed by North Dakota State University
Past Experience/Qualifications:
Dr. Brooks is an expert in technology integration into the English and language arts curriculum, having published research on classroom applications of hypertext, laptops, weblogs, powerpoint music videos, as well as conceptual research on digital communication curricula.
Dr. Brian M. Slator is a Professor of Computer Science with research interests in Artificial Intelligence, Educational Media, and Intelligent Agents. He has published dozens of technical articles and his book, “Electric Worlds”, concerns the use of immersive virtual environments for education.


3. Objectives

Project Objectives: (WEB-PUBLISHED)
1. Establish an XO Lending Library (five 1.0s, five 1.5s) and Sugar Labs @ NDSU in order to create interest in OLPC and build expertise with the XOs and Sugar at NDSU and in Fargo more generally.  
2. Figure out if / how educational games developed by Slator can be adapted to Sugar and the XO.  
3. Use XOs and Sugar within technical writing classes to teach software documentation and usability studies, and in turn contribute to the documentation of the software, hardware, and its activities.  
4. Long term goal: have a Fargo-based team trained and ready to support a large-scale deployment.  

4. Plan of Action
Plan and Procedure for Achieving the Stated Objectives:
Accomplishments in 2010-11:
1. successful Sugar after-school program at Madison elementary (2010-11).
2. community project grant ($20,000) awarded to expand Madison program to full school integration, May 2011.
3. built up expertise in Sugar, familiarity with activities.
Summer 2011.
1. Establish identity of Sugar Labs @ NDSU and use lending library with local summer programs.
2. Begin testing of Slator’s existing games on XOs.
3. Identify community partners for lending library.
Fall 2011
1. Integrate XOs and Sugar in to technical writing class(es) at NDSU.
2. Continue work on game development.
3. Work with community partners and lending library.
Spring 2011
Continue work started in the fall.
Will plan a “Turtle Art” day for Madison students.
Will seek additional funding for long-term support of project: e.g. NSF grant to teach programming.
5. Needs
Why is this project needed? Sugar needs more educators–this potentially transformative software is misunderstood and under-used. Slator’s games need to be tested on XOs–both 1.0 and 1.5.
Locally? We are trying to build a “smart computing culture” in Fargo.  That concept was at the core of our funded project; we have a vision for introducing Sugar K-5, introducing programming via Turtle, E-toys, Scratch, and Pippy during middle school, and more significant programming in high school.  We are trying to enact the vision of Kay, Papert, and others.  
In the greater OLPC/Sugar community?  Dr. Slator’s work will potentially bring more educational games in to the community; Dr. Brooks’s work will provide documentation and educational support for OLPC / Sugar. The long-term contribution will be support of future deployments by a well-trained, knowledgeable team.  
Outside the community? Slator and Brooks will be able to bring their work in to their academic communities, potentially generating more interest in OLPC, XO, and Sugar in higher education.  The team’s work with Madison Elementary and other local programs can lead to interest outside NDSU and the in the community.  
Why can’t this project be done in emulation using non-XO machines? Much of it already is being done, with a Sugar-on-a-Stick project at Madison elementary project.  But Slator needs XOs to test his games on the hardware, not just the software; Brooks needs XOs to teach hardware and software documentation. The long-term goal of training a team to support a deployment needs access to hardware and software.  
Why are you requesting the number of machines you are asking for? 10 makes for a viable lending library. Portable enough to take to schools or clubs for after-school projects, a good number for small teams of NDSU students to work with, 5 of each XO allows for good variety in mixed age groups and for testing.  
Will you consider (1) salvaged/rebuilt or (2) damaged XO Laptops?
Yes.  There might even be some advantages to having a few damaged ones–learn more about the care and maintenance of the computers.
6. Sharing Deliverables
Project URL—where you’ll Blog specific ongoing progress:

How will you convey tentative ideas & results back to the OLPC/Sugar community, prior to completion?
Through our already established blog.  

How will the final fruits of your labor be distributed to children or community members worldwide?
Students at Madison Elementary will get a solid introduction to Sugar, and they will be active participants in projects. Other children will have access to the computers through the lending library.  Worldwide, we plan to be in a position to support deployments as needed.  

Will your work have any possible application or use outside our community?
If yes, how will these people be reached?
The academics involved will present findings of our study.  We hope to engage the education community in a more robust discussion of Sugar.

Have you investigated working with nearby XO Lending Libraries or Project Groups?
To the best of our knowledge, there are no nearby libraries or project groups.
7. Quality/Mentoring
Would your Project benefit from Support, Documentation and/or Testing people?
Yes.  We would like to bring Dr. Gerald Ardito, who facilitated a deployment for 5th graders in upstate New York, to Fargo; he has been a consultant on this project already. We would also like to bring John Tierney from Sugar Labs to Fargo; he too has been a consultant and catalyst on this project.
Teachers’ input into Usability? Dr. Ardito could probably fill this role. WE will be working with teachers at Madison Elementary in Fargo.  
How will you promote your work? We are looking into adding someone from the Business School or a Public Relations expert to our team.
Can we help you with an experienced mentor from the OLPC/Sugar community? (WEB-PUBLISHED)
Perhaps Gerald Ardito and John Tierney will be able to tap into their network if we need additional support.


8. Timeline (Start to Finish)
Please include a Proposed timeline for your Project life-cycle: (this can be in the form of Month 1, Month 2, etc rather than specific dates)
Summer 2011.
1. Establish identity of Sugar Labs @ NDSU and use lending library with local summer programs.
2. Begin testing of Slator’s existing games on XOs.
3. Identify community partners for lending library.
Fall 2011
1. Integrate XOs and Sugar in to technical writing class(es) at NDSU.
2. Continue work on game development.
3. Work with community partners and lending library.
Spring 2011
Continue work started in the fall.
Will plan a “Turtle Art” day for Madison students.
Will seek additional funding for long-term support of project: e.g. NSF grant to teach programming.

Long-term goal: support a global deployment.  


Specify how you prefer to communicate your ongoing progress and obstacles!
Progress updates on our blog https://fargoxo.wordpress.com/
Share progress and obstacles on XO communication channels.

[ X] I agree to pass on the laptop(s) to a local OLPC group or other interested contributors in case I do not have need for the laptop(s) anymore or in case my project progress stalls.

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