[Etoys] some comments

Bill Kerr billkerr at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 06:23:48 EDT 2007

On 8/27/07, Alan Kay <alan.kay at squeakland.org> wrote:

> One thing that could help from this list is for people to submit scenarios
> of how they think the out of the box experience should take place.

I like the gallery of example projects on the new OLPC-etoys image. ie. a
collection of diverse projects in one place. That's what I wanted but it
might not be the best thing for OLPC, or rather the current mix of types of
things could be improved. I'm commenting on what is currently there not
suggesting that it is regarded as final.

   - The car examples show a progression from simple to more complex
   - There are two tutorials with some AI
   - The rest, making up the bulk,  I think are more or less finished

It's this latter group that might be most regarded as games to play. I think
only a minority have the initial inclination and / or skills to take a
finished project and then reverse engineer it to figure out how it was done.
With a finished product it is easy to fool yourself that you understand just
by looking at it and playing around with it. It takes more effort to put it
to one side and then build it from scratch

IMO for the children there should be more step by step tutorials like the
car example

Also more accompanying howTo documentation, as in "Powerful ideas in the
eg. a project could be  broken into 4 steps, the documentation takes you
through each step and there is a sample product illustrating each step along
the way

There could also be challenges. These could either be there at the end of a
project. Or out of the blue challenges. These are harder but you need to
cater for the advanced group too.

I'm arguing for a mix of finished projects, tutorials with AI, step by step
written tutorials, step by step documentation and challenges. The current
mix is too much weighted towards finished products.

Bill Kerr
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