I want to document but I need to learn first!

Jerry Balzano gjbalzano at ucsd.edu
Wed Mar 12 11:39:42 PST 2003

>> > But I think that if the
>> >Squeak insiders really believe that "kids in fifth grade are able to
>> >master etoys" (A. Raab, 2/10/03) without one or more Squeak insiders
>> >hovering close by, they are sadly mistaken!
>I beg to differ here, I have personally seen a ten year old, and two or three
>12 year olds use the e-toys most effectively. The ten year old is an
>exceptional student, but the others appeared to be pretty normal children who
>made car races and cannons firing in a morning. ok. Squeak e-toys is not for
>the witless child, but any child old enough to have language skills and of
>normal intelligence can learn to think like a computer scientist using Squeak
>and the e-toys. It's just that not everybody wants to learn to think like a
>computer scientist, so they don't.

Well, Christopher, I certainly accept your report as the "data" it is, and
I'm certainly impressed by it.  The cannons firing, in particular, seem
pretty far removed from anything I've seen in "tutorials" (demonstrating
"far transfer" as they say), and I wonder if you'd be willing to share them
with me or with other interested parties.  There are always exceptions to
any (over)generalization of the sort I made, although I'm not quite ready
to back completely off it.  One question I have is, what is the 12 year old
doing with etoys now?  (Actually I have other questions but first I wanted
to see if you were interested in having a discussion about this at all.)

		- Jerry

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