Sugar offers many ways to use a computer beyond just the display screen, although when you use Sugar in new ways, you can think beyond the display. Read on for new ideas of using Sugar or your XO beyond the Activity set and with the Activities currently available.
You can install a program called "feh" to display images quickly and offer an automatic slideshow of pictures.
What you need to begin:
yum install feh
feh -F -D 5 --scale-down /media/cardname/where -F plays full screen and -D 5 plays the slideshow with a five second delay between images.
Make artwork in the Draw Activity instead of taking pictures using the Record Activity for your slideshow pictures.
Create a digital art or photography gallery with all of your computers hanging on the wall or leaning as if they were easels.
Share pictures by copying files onto other student's SD cards or USB drives.
Have students collaborate with the Draw Activity by having each student draw for one minute, much like the Swarm Sketch site at http://swarmsketch.com/
Have students download pictures about a certain topic or use tags on sites like http://flickr.com to create a slideshow of only cats, dogs, or other pets.
Think of a place that could display the computer slide shows for a practical purpose, such as offering changing advertisement at a store or restaurant. How could students make a business model for selling advertisements, designing slides, and displaying them on their slide show like a billboard?
Have students create collages or mosaics with more than one computer screen stacked on another, running the slideshows all at one time.
Research the command line parameters for feh. Can they modify the timing of the slideshow so that stacks of pictures create a larger image?
Could students use their slideshow to convince someone to purchase a product or make a decision?
Make a video of your art or photography gallery premier or write a journal entry about your experience sharing photos or artwork.
Read books that are stored on the computer or on the Internet. One way to read books is to open the Browse Activity, click the books link, and then click encyclopedia, picture books, or dictionaries.
The Sugar OS contains a library that offers many interesting reading materials in many languages. These books are sometimes called "ebooks" for electronic books, and Portable Document Format (PDF) files are one type of ebook.
If you are using an XO, you might like to flip the laptop display so that it lays flat while reading ebooks.
The way to view PDF files is to select the file in the Browse Activity or in the Journal, and then click the arrow button to have the Read Activity open it.
The Read Activity and Watch & Listen Activity are two activities that are not started from the Home View. You access them through a "launching" Activity like Journal or Browse.
Epub is an electronic book or ebook format that you can read on your computer after downloading and installing a reader such as FBReader, and downloading and storing the epub files that you want to read. To complete this procedure, FBReader must be installed.
To install FBReader, connect to the Internet, open the Terminal Activity and type:
su yum install fbreader
After you press enter, the installer downloads and installs fbreader. Next, you'll want to download some epub books.
Downloading and viewing books
To download and view epub books, follow this procedure.
mv "File TheThreeBears.epub downloaded from_http___www.snee.com_ebooks_TheThreeBears.epub..zip" TheThreeBears.epub LittleBoPeep-ANurseryRhymePictureBook.epub
cp TheThreeBears.epub ~/Books
Make your own ebook by either creating a PDF file using a free PDF creator online or by learning about the epubs format to make your own book.
Ask students to learn about reading by reading more and more books and charting the class's progress in completed books read over a period of time.
Share your favorite books by copying files onto other student's SD cards or USB drives.
Who else might like to read the books you've downloaded? Can you find books that your family might enjoy together? What about books about your area of the country?
Use the Write Activity to keep a journal while reading your book. What discussion questions do you have for your class after reading the book?
Look the book up online at Amazon.com and read reviews for the book. Do you have the same reactions to the book as another reviewer?
How do students use reading in their every day lives to make decisions or otherwise act upon what they've read?
Write a review to convince others to read a certain book. What aspects of the book can you use to convince someone that it is worth the time investment to read it?
Turtle Art is a colorful visual activity to use in a classroom setting where students can give the turtle commands and even spell out their names.
You may want to demonstrate on a computer that can be displayed on an overhead projector.
Have students follow the instructions for creating letters. What shape will this set of commands make? Try it and see.
Did your turtle draw this shape?
If your turtle didn't draw the shape of an uppercase A, or if the color is different, check each puzzle piece one at a time, pretending that you are the turtle trying to understand the command you gave it. When you see a number or a piece that is out of place, change it and try again.
Have students share their letter drawings and use combinations for their names to work together in the classroom, such as having kids with N in their name share their turtle's commands by sending .ta files to each other.
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