[squeakland] education team meeting notes October 23

Rita Freudenberg rita at squeakland.org
Tue Oct 27 08:24:31 EDT 2009

Hi all,

here are the notes from our meeting last week:




Randy, Avigail, Cathie, Cherry, Christine, Hilaire, Rita

We started discussing two questions Avigail raised in an email, which 
are now related to tracker issues.
*1.* How to edit/change a project that is already in the showcase? Find 
more details and comments in the tracker here:

*2.* How to choose appropriate age recommendation for projects? As it 
turns out, the current items to choose from (up to 8 years, 9-11, 12-14, 
15 and older) are very hard to use. Especially the upper limit can 
descourage older kids to even try the project. And when choosing the 
target age for projects, it is ok to choose the minimal age, but often 
the upper limit is not appropriate. Since we want to have target age for 
the projects in featured showcase, the options should be changed. The 
result of our discussion is this:

   * ages 8 - older

   * ages 12 - older

   * ages 15 - older

   * 18+

Here is the related tracker issue:


Related to that we think that every project in featured showcase 
*should* have target age. We have to find out if it is possible somehow 
to add categorization to projects which are already uploaded. If this is 
impossible, we will at least add the relevant information using comments.
Featured projects should cover all age groups from elementary school to 
college level.
Since it seems to be hard to add target age later, we talked about how 
to encourage people, and especially kids, to choose a target age for 
their projects (withour pressing them to do so). Cathie came up with a 
nice text:

/If you would like to share your project with the most people possible, 
please indicate what age person might be most interested in looking at 
or using your project./
*3.* We discussed which projects should be featured for the new release. 
Currently on our list are:

   * all projects from the gallery, which are not in the tutorials
     section on the website:
     salmon sniff
     fish and plankton
     simple springs
     lunar lander game
     ball drop analysis
     bouncing ball animation
     make a movie
     speed acceleration
     random racing
     computer logic game
     turtle geometry

   * other projects to feature:
     rabbits and grass
     butterfly queen
     seymour quest
     sun earth moon
     add relative integer
     Ant Colony

Every project should have a description what it is about, especially 
projects like butterfly queen (story telling), which is the winenr of 
the waveplace awards. We also discussed if we should add more 
information about the developer of the project, like age and gender, to 
encourage and motivate other kids, but we should probably not publish 
such information about younger children, so we will not do this.

*4.* During our discussion about target age we again hit the point of 
having two different kind of projects: projects which are "just for fun" 
and projects with a sopecial purpose and how to distinguish between these.

*5.* Courseware
We are working on short descriptions for the courseware units.
We discussed examples of how the startpage for the courseware could look 
like. The design of the page is important also from an educational point 
of view. Avigail suggested to look up other education websites. Randy 
suggested to use a circle and put the categories around it, with arrows 
showing the relations between the topics. In the middle we can write up 
the main ideas of Etoys.
We looked up some examplary websites:


The second link was best appreciated. Cherry will make a first draft 
based on the example, using our list of units.
*6.* Cherry told us that John Stout is asking for help using the mesh 
network with Etoys. Rita advised that he should ask his questions on the 
squeakland mailing list.

Rita Freudenberg
Squeakland Foundation

More information about the squeakland mailing list