[Squeakland] "Powerful Ideas Book" now available!

Daniel Vareika dvareika at redfacil.com.uy
Tue Aug 26 14:28:40 PDT 2003

Dear Kim and all Squeakers,

First and foremost, congratulations on your new book!
As a father of a 6 year old child, I am looking for new ways to stimulate my
child. I have been an active "reader" member of this list, though this is
the first time I participate.

I would like to know whether a 6 year old is too young to Squeak, if your
book is intended for that age also or if there is another platform aside
Squeak more appropriate for that age range.

I have downloaded Squeak (3.5 I believe) both in an old Mac and a PC. To
tell you the truth, I did opened it but I have not found the time to
dedicate time to learn it (my country sucks for that matter, at least
What I only did was browse it. Though browsing it I found it a little bit
daunting for my child and maybe for myself.

I was particularly interested in the whole discussion regarding levels ala
HyperCard and the different point of views. Regarding metaphors as a whole
new way of programming I do not have yet a point made up in my mind. What I
can say is that Icons and English may work well to the native speakers of
the language, but to kids like my child it would mean that he has another
hindrance in this case the Language.

I am from Uruguay (we speak Spanish) and although I am literate and fluent
in English and my child is going to a School where he learns English not as
a second language but as a first language, still we are not getting to the
mass and to be truthful I find this (in my heart) not democratic enough.
On the other hand I am not so sure that porting a language (computer
language) from one language to another (for example English to Spanish) is
the right choice. As an example when I see formulas of Excel in Spanish
where my mind is accustomed to see them in English, I simply hate them.
I cannot imagine an if clause (if, then, else) in another language nor a
loop sentence. 

But I can imagine tying up in a more graphical way bits of code instead of
doing so abstractly. I remember a recent answer that produce Alan Kay
recently regarding something similar, it was to learning music and he
considered that the key is not simplifying everything but learning the
nature of music itself (instead of painting it). I agree with that, but I
would like to point out two things in this respect.
One, is that music has a language (notation) completely different of any
language (spoken or written for that matter), specific, fast and
But on the other hand, from what I recall when I was young, in the US I saw
another method that used (a, b, c, d) instead of the regular one that
simplified the reading and learning of music specially for youngsters. So
this brings me back to the concept of Hypercard.

Please mind if I went a little too far, and mind for my English and not
having the words nor the concepts to make myself clear enough.

I do enjoy the discussions that take place in this list.
And for one thing, I believe that the true nature of democracy will only
arrive, not when we all have a roof and food, but when all have the chance
to have the same education and knowledge, but not in a some abstract form
but in a true, active way.
For this, I believe Squeak, being free, aside of how It may evolve or
revolutionize in this bright present and promising future, has the true
nature of democracy.



PS: Sorry if I got too emotional on the whole matter, I am specially worried
about my country, about the differences that really exist that keep us apart
(inside my country and outside), and about the future of our children as a
hole. I truly believe that children have the right to learn joyfully and
that they entitled to have a future in its broadest meaning, and that we are
responsible for that.

Maybe I just may go to a Shrink :-)

> -- 
> Hello, Squeakers!
> If word has not made it your way, I am delighted to inform you that
> the Etoy project book I created with BJ Conn is now published and
> available!
> It can be ordered directly from Squeakland.org and specifically at
> http://squeakland.org/sqmedia/sqmediahome.html
> Thanks to those of you who provided feedback on early drafts and
> tested projects along the way.
> We hope you find the book of value and will share this news with
> other teachers, parents and students.
> Have fun Squeaking!!!
> -- Kim
> _______________________________________________
> Squeakland mailing list
> Squeakland at squeakland.org
> http://squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland

Daniel Vareika
Diseñador Industrial

                            DISEÑOS :: VAREIKA

                    : Productos : Imagen : Hábitat :

      Ramon Massini 3415 - 705   CP II.300   Montevideo - Uruguay
                       TeleFax (598-2) 707 9005

                  [    dvareika at redfacil.com.uy     ]

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