January 20-22, 2012, Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel

Sugar! SoaS Brings This Sweet Educational Software To Almost Any Computer

Caryl Bigenho


When the One Laptop Per Child Foundation introduced its XO-1 laptop to the public by way of the Give One Get One program in 2007 it started a worldwide revolution in educational computing. But the cute little green and white machine wasn't the only thing they introduced that has had an important impact on netbooks and educational computing. Sugar, the software shipped with every XO laptop is a welcome addition to the world of open source software in education (OSSIE). It includes some of the already well known programs such as Scratch, Etoys (Squeak), and TurtleArt (Logo), but many others unique to Sugar. These programs, all open source, are constantly being updated and improved at both OLPC and Sugar Labs, their software spin-off. Realizing a need for more educational software to be made available for use on computers other than the XO, Sugar Labs began working with versions that could be used on other computers running from a usb stick, thus the name Sugar on a Stick (SoaS). This portable version of Sugar includes many of the Sugar programs not available elsewhere. Scratch and Etoys are not included because they can easily be downloaded from their websites. Since their first SoaS release two and a half years ago, code-named Strawberry and based on Fedora 11, they have gone through a total of six fruit-named versions. The current "flavor", code named "Pineapple," is version 6 and is based on Fedora 16. It is available for download from Sugar Labs and from the Fedora Project where it is named: "Discover. Reflect. Share. Learn." This session will explore how participants can get SoaS running on their own computers. We will also take an in-depth look at how to make use of some of the many Activities (programs) on SoaS.