[etoys-dev] About Skeleton

Harness, Kathleen kharness at illinois.edu
Mon Oct 31 13:47:16 EDT 2011

An interesting discussion, and I add my views that parallel some and diverge from others. 

More ready-to-use objects may result in a constricted view of Etoys capabilities. More math objects will make it seem like it is most appropriate for mathematics but my impression is that mathematicians already have set their curriculum and resist taking what appears to be a lateral digression into programming. Also, most current textbooks include interactive materials that school districts expect will be used. We can't compete.

It is easy to drag in digital images and sound files already. It is easy to save projects full of specific objects for any number of routine classroom activities. There is room to add drag and drop information in the Quick Guide for both topics. I would be glad to revise those, just let me know when they are needed.
Professional drawings discourage children who can not match that level of skill. . . yet. When I taught music, there was a similar problem using recorded accompaniments and professional singers that came with the textbook. It seemed better for my students to perfect their talents, to really listen to the music they made, rather than hide behind professional musicians and the perfection of recording studio performances.

Maybe we should have a link to proposed additions to Supplies and the Object Catalog. I will mention my bias which is for a continuation of non-violence in Etoys. If more objects are to be added to Supplies, please could we avoid bombs, tanks, military craft, missiles, drones, and any other weapons of mass destruction. Surely there is room in the world for one non-violent introduction to programming.  

From: etoys-dev-bounces at squeakland.org [etoys-dev-bounces at squeakland.org] on behalf of Rita Freudenberg [rita at isg.cs.uni-magdeburg.de]
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2011 7:03 AM
To: Ricardo Moran
Cc: etoys-dev at squeakland.org
Subject: Re: [etoys-dev] About Skeleton

Am 31.10.2011 um 03:09 schrieb Ricardo Moran:

> On Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 4:55 AM, Hilaire Fernandes <hilaire.fernandes at gmail.com> wrote:
> Le 29/10/2011 06:46, Ricardo Moran a écrit :
> > I noticed, however, that most of the kids use Etoys merely as some
> > sort of enhanced powerpoint but few of them actually see its potential
> > for simulations and programming (they use Scratch or TurtleArt for
> > that). I know that my sensation after seeing just a couple of students
> > doesn't count as valid statistics, and I also know that there have
> > been a lot of discussions about this in the list, but I can't help
> > thinking something is wrong and I wanted to share it.
> >
> The users always surprise you  and they gear freely in a direction
> different from the one you planed for them :)
> Steve Jobs was a master to drive the user where he wanted.
> Teacher have to cope with their reality, which it is difficult for us
> after all.
> So it may suggest to add more graphical tools useful for presentation.
> Your bubble tools are winning pieces for that :)
> Yes, some kids told me they would want more graphics to choose in Etoys (like the ones in Scratch).

We have been discussing this from time to time, and we think that having nice graphics to choose from will not really fit with the idea of children creating their own objects. Seeing graphics that they might not be able to create themselves easily can discourage them from make their own paintings.
But what if we create a part on our website where children can upload their paintings so that others can use them?

Just a thought.
> Cheers,
> Richo
> Hilaire
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Rita Freudenberg
rita at isg.cs.uni-magdeburg.de

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