[etoys-dev] [squeakland] Kids using images and scripting

karl ramberg karlramberg at gmail.com
Mon Oct 31 14:18:15 EDT 2011

On Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 6:40 PM, Kim Rose <kim.rose at vpri.org> wrote:
> Hello,
> A quick bit of history and a reminder:
> Etoys was developed with the idea that the children would create *their own*
> art -- to encourage drawing and not just cut/pasting other people's
> clip-art.  We'd love to see that encouraged  although we realize there are
> "powerful forces" working against us.  Children have little self-esteem
> regarding their drawing skills; they need encouragement, praise and
> practice.
> Additionally, the original intent of Etoys was not to enable/encourage all
> kids to be "programmers" but to get children to think more scientifically,
> and less superstitiously, and in a more thoughtful manner all together when
> thinking about the world we inhabit and how it works.
> Kim Rose

I agree with much of this.
But we must help the kids by showing them a way.
Many kids will just give up as it's too much to discover and its to
hard to do by them self.
What I think is way forward is to help kids make the stuff they want.
Tutorials and specially youtube clips showing how to make the kind of
images they like will encourage them to make it them self.

Art is hard and it's not obvious how to make it. Lot's of tricks and tools
are used and it take some dedication.

Etoys paint tools are good for most cases but can be a little crude and

Crude by having only round and big brushes. And the very hard
pixelated edges makes detail work hard.
Non obvious color palette memory. There is no zoom to do details.

Unforgiving in the sense that editing instances take time getting used
to. You edit the original! You must remember to keep a copy or you
lose your work !


> Viewpoints Research is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to
> improving "powerful ideas education" for the world's children and advancing
> the state of systems research and personal computing. Please visit us online
> at www.vpri.org
> On Oct 31, 2011, at 10:06 AM, Steve Thomas wrote:
>> Changed subject from previous emails.
>> On Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 11:12 AM, Bert Freudenberg <bert at freudenbergs.de>
>> wrote:
>> On 31.10.2011, at 03:09, Ricardo Moran wrote:
>> > Some kids told me they would want more graphics to choose in Etoys (like
>> > the ones in Scratch).
>> Why don't they use images they found on the web, or took using a camera?
>> So I see a couple of issues:
>>        • Should we include a predefined set of images similar to Scratch?
>>        • Why don't kids use images found on web or took using a camera?
>>        • How can we get kids scripting (as opposed to just "playing with
>> images" and creating cartoons)
>> On item 1: Should we include a predefined set of images similar to
>> Scratch?
>> The argument I have heard against including images is that kids that:
>> "Seeing graphics that they might not be able to create themselves easily
>> can discourage them from make their own paintings."
>> If that is the case, then why do are there so many kid created graphics in
>> Scratch projects?  I have, on admittedly limited evidence, seen kids getting
>> stuck drawing, because they feel they can't draw well enough, which
>> slows/stops them.
>> On item 2: Why don't kids use images found on web or took using a camera?
>> Good question, once I show kids that this can be done, they do it.  So
>> perhaps it is an issue of "discoverability"?
>> There is a quick guide on Objects/Digital Images which is XO specific. But
>> does not indicate how to import an image from the Web on XO.
>> Also, the switching to journal/copy to clipboard, ... may be too many
>> steps, which might discourage kids.
>> On item 3: How can we get kids scripting, modeling, simulating  (as
>> opposed to just "playing with images" and creating cartoons)
>> Great question, need to think about this some more.  Not that playing with
>> images, creating cartoons and using Etoys as a PowerPoint replacement are
>> bad things, but how do we get them scripting, modeling, simulating as well.
>> Stephen
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