My contribution to recent comments/questions, etc.

Jim Ford jaford at
Sun Mar 23 00:51:32 PST 2003

On Sun, Mar 23, 2003 at 12:08:08AM -0500, Mankovsky, Sheine wrote:
> I'd like to add a few comments with respect to the contributions folks have
> made in the last little while.  First, on the matter of a book (text) to
> "help" teachers use Squeak in the classroom, I would suggest that it's not
> useful to go that route.  The computer is the book.

Yes - but you can miss an awfull lot of nuggets of meat, tucked away in
corners you never new existed. There's nothing quite like playing with a
system (computer software/video recorder/car) until you think you know all
about it, then sitting down with the manual (away from the computer) only
to rush back 5 mins later saying 'Wow, I didn't know you could do that!'

As I've stated elsewhere, I'm not a teacher but a secondary school Science
Technician (and have also been a Primary School Governor). From my
observations in the U.K., schools are ridgidly constrained by 'The
Curriculum', which is targetted towards pupils passing their G.C.S.Es.  and
'A' Level examinations. Most teachers are so focussed towards this that
they have no time for anything that is not in The Curriculum. Furthermore,
the timetable is totally geared towards 'Delivering The Curriculum', such that
there is no room for any flexibility or introduction of new ideas. With
regard to computer related technology, most teachers horizons stretch no
further that M.S. Word - with the more adventurous ones using Excel (and
calling it a database). The pupils spend most of their time in I.T. cutting
and pasting the same piece of text from Encarta or downloading the same
clipart, for their projects. Creativity - sorry it's no longer in 'The

I've managed to interest one of out Network Technicians in Squeak and am
encouraging him to install it on the School Network. If this happens, I'll
try to start a lunchtime 'club' to introduce pupils to Squeak. I'll get no
encouragment from the teachers - after all as I've said before - what could
I possibly know about anything, I'm only a technician!

Regards: Jim Ford

More information about the Squeakland mailing list