Friday, 6 February 2015

Sugar for Children

Sugar IDE
Sugar is an interactive and easy to learn platform for kids. And now, coming to what is Sugar? Sugar is a free and open source desktop environment designed for interactive learning for children. It started as a part of One Laptop per Child project (OLPC) as its default desktop environment. The mission of OLPC is to develop low cost laptops and provide children around the world with new opportunities. Sugar is a free software developed under Sugar Labs, which is a non-profit organization where developers and educationists work together for the development of the software. Sugar Labs is a community that supports and promotes Sugar learning platform.

Sugar is an attractive and colorful desktop environment created with an aim of quality education for children. Sugar does not use desktop, folder or window as its user interface objects. Instead, it uses a full screen view which helps children to concentrate on one job at a time. It is developed in Python language and runs on GNU/Linux. It is released under GNU General Public License and is available in 25 languages. Most applications in Sugar are the forks of existing applications in GNOME. It is available as USB-Bootable Linux distribution and Live CDs.

Why Sugar is interesting? 
Sugar supports sharing and collaboration for users. It does not contain applications like other desktop environments. Learner applications in Sugar are called Activities. It includes activities like Pippy(introductory environment to learn Python), Journals(object and activity browsing), Distance(measure the distance between two laptops) etc which are exclusively designed for easy use for kids. In the Sugar Neighborhood view, children see their connected friends; they can join each other’s activities.

Sugar teaches you through three experiences:

Sharing, which shows the presence of others involved in the activity by sharing ideas.

Reflecting, where Sugar uses journals to record each activity of the user which helps in progress assessment.

Discovering, where users of different levels of skills join together in a single platform and go deeper and deeper with no restrictions.

Sugar provides children with the opportunity to explore, express and experiment themselves.