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Sugar Lab's mission is to provide the means to help people gain a quality education and thereby lead more fulfilling lives. Sugar Labs produces, distributes, and supports the use of the Sugar learning platform, a free software system that is freely available to anyone who wants to use or extend it. Our goal is to use Sugar to develop effective and affordable ways to educate children.
Walter Bender founded Sugar Labs in 2008 to serve as a support base for the community of educators and software developers working with the Sugar Learning Platform. Bender previously was president for software and content of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) association, where he developed and deployed these crucial technologies. Before taking a leave of absence from MIT, Bender was executive director of the MIT Media Laboratory. He has worked closely with pioneers in the field of technology and learning such as Seymour Papert, Marvin Minsky, and Alan Kay for more than thirty years.
The award-winning Sugar learning platform turns a computer into a fun, easy to use, social experience that promotes learning, creating, and collaborating. Sugar provides browsing, word processing, rich media creation, presentation, programming, and other learning activities to elementary- and middle-school students in an easy-to-use, easy-to-maintain, customizable package. Sugar also comes with journal and portfolio components, allowing for teachers and parents to monitor student work. A school (or district) server stores and backs up student work.
Sugar sets aside the traditional "office-desktop" metaphor and, through its Activities, engages even the youngest learners in the use of computation as a powerful "thing to think with." They quickly become proficient in using the computer as a tool to engage in authentic problem-solving. Moreover, most Sugar Activities can be shared by learners between machines--children learn as a group, not as a collection of individual users. Sugar users develop skills that help them in all aspects of life.
Sugar is the core component of a worldwide effort to provide every child with equal opportunity for a quality education. Available in 25 languages, Sugar's Activities are used every school day by almost one-million children in more than forty countries.
Sugar is free and open-source software, freely available to anyone who wants to use it.
- Caroline Meeks
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