Learning to Learn: Using and Modifying the Sugar Platform
Sugar Labs and MIT Media Lab
January 27, 2011
Olin 107
Lunch will be served at noon. (Room for lunch to be determined.)


Sugar is a software platform that is designed for children for learning. Sugar is developed and maintained by Sugar Labs, a global volunteer community of software developers and educators. Our goal is to raise a generation of critical thinkers and problem-solvers by establishing a culture of independent thinking and learning. Through Sugar, we strive to provide every child with the opportunity to learn learning within a context that will allow them both to engage in an on-going critical dialog with others and to develop independent means towards their personal goals.

Sugar encourages every child to be a creative force within their community. Learning with Sugar is not a passive service where children receive knowledge. It is action. It is about creativity, fluency, innovation, and problem solving, all of which involve personal expression and strong ties to the community. Sugar brings the tools of expression within reach of children so that they can be free to act within their community and through their actions, change their world. Free Software is a necessary condition for establishing this culture of expression and empowerment. The mantra of the next generation of learners will be “show me the code, so I can learn from it and make it better.”

Bio: Walter Bender is founder and executive director of Sugar Labs, a non-profit foundation. In 2006, Bender co-founded the One Laptop per Child, a non-profit association with Nicholas Negroponte and Seymour Papert. As director of the MIT Media Laboratory, Bender led a team of researchers in fields as varied as tangible media to affective computing to lifelong kindergarten. In 1992, Bender founded the MIT News in the Future consortium, which launched the era of digital news.

Please email Kristina Striegnitz (striegnk@union.edu) if you have any questions concerning the seminar series or if you would like to receive the seminar announcements by email.