Sugar is a free desktop environment designed with the goal of being used by children for learning. It is developed as part of the nonprofit One Laptop per Child (OLPC, a low-cost educational laptop project) which is released under the GNU GPL. Whereas most other desktop environments are written in a compiled language (e.g., the GNOME desktop environment, Microsoft Windows XP and Vista were all written mostly in C), Sugar is written in the interpreted Python programming language which allows easier modification and customization of Sugar by its users.
Sugar is still in development. In May 2006, its creators described it as primarily a “tool for expression,” thus plans are in place to include multimedia and social networking features. Like other desktop environments, Sugar does not use the “desktop”, “folder” and “window” metaphors. Instead, Sugar’s default full-screen activities require users to focus on only one program at a time.
Sugar implements journal, which automatically record each student’s activities and allows them to later use, an interface to pull up their past works by date, activity used or file type. Thus acting as a reflection and assessment of progress—a portfolio that can be shared with teachers, parents, and the student as they progress through grade levels. For teachers, students will enjoy learning more and they will improve in regard to traditional metrics such as reading comprehension. And you will enjoy mentoring them and learning along side them. The Sugar interface always shows a students connected friends. Students chat with each other, support each other, critique each other, and share ideas. Activities such as peer editing are just one “mouse-click” away. Sugar also provides access to internet learning resources.