[Squeakland] RE: Please send us your feedback
mebogler at apollosvision.org
Mon Jun 28 11:58:10 PDT 2004
My name is Miriam Bogler and I am a new user of Squeak. I have been using it
for about a year now. I am a database developer and a former computer
teacher for grades 1 -12, teaching a wide variety of softwares - with a
focus on Logo programming (MicroWorlds). At present I have founded a
non-profit organization that intends to open an after-school club which will
be dedicated to introduce technologies that encourage children to create
their own products. It will be similar to the first MIT after-school club.
At present, my organization is functioning in the San Fernando Valley
(Northridge) and helps local public and private schools establish techology
programs that include: robotics-using Lego Mindstorms, game design-using
Squeak, and Macromedia's Director.
I discovered Squeak about a year ago, and proceeded to read "Powerful Ideas
in the Classroom," which helped me discover new things daily. About six
months ago, I started teaching a Squeak class for fifth graders at Napa
Street Elementary School - a Title One public school in Northridge. These
children have been previously exposed to Lego Mindstorms, so they were not
entirely new to programming. The learning curve was much higher than in
Mindstorms and therefore I had to be very creative in attracting their
attention to the task. I decided to introduce small manageable tasks and
urged students that understood and seemed comfortable with the ideas to
assist the other students. I am a strong believer that teaching to others
assists one in learning the information and concepts themselves, because one
must truly be proficient in order to relay information to someone else. My
idea seemed to work better than I imagined. Students, equipped with a new
sense of responsibility, were eager to teach their peers the skills that
they mastered so well. Suddenly, everyone wanted to become a teacher and
teach something the rest did not get. A new atmosphere emerged in the
classroom, in which students started appreciating Squeak and understanding
its potential. Their new- found confidence manifested itself in
personalizing the project that was initially intended to teach them the
skills. Finally, they became so engaged that they asked to come to class on
a day that school was not in session. For me, this was a sign of bigger
things to come.
My main frustration with Squeak was the fact that I did not have a
systematic, detailed help source. In my attempt to master the skills, I went
through many sources of help such as: the tutorial on the web, the Powerful
Ideas book, different projects on the internet. One that I particularily
enjoyed was the project created by Dr. Alan Kay, which was a reply for
Tamika. However, even that project seemed to have missing scripts and syntax
that changed since it was created. As I created more projects, I figured out
new things all the time. It was very time-consuming, however . I wish we had
more sample projects such as the Tamika, which would serve as a sample for
users to expand on. There may be resources out there that I am not currently
aware of, but there were many details I was unable to figure out due to a
lack of known resources. I am aware that there are plenty of resources for
SamllTalk. I am referring to E-Toys because I teach small children.
As a former teacher of Logo using MicroWorlds, I must say that I am amazed
with the possibilities in Squeak (or E-Toys). However, in order to have the
children benefit from this powerful program, they probably need access to a
help menu that would provide a small animation of what can be done with a
Squeak component that they are retrieving. Learners in general, and children
in particular, learn best by example. A good example is worth a thousand
Miriam E. Bogler
Apollo's Vision Computer Clubs, Inc.
22560-3 Jeffrey Mark Ct.
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Tel: (818) 576-1428
Fax: (818) 773-8970
E-mail: mebogler at apollosvision.org
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Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2004 12:00 PM
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Subject: Squeakland Digest, Vol 14, Issue 10
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1. Happy Summer - Please send us your feedack! (Kim Rose)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 11:27:48 -0700
From: Kim Rose <kim.rose at squeakland.org>
Subject: [Squeakland] Happy Summer - Please send us your feedack!
To: "squeakland.org mailing list" <squeakland at squeakland.org>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"
Happy Summer! For those of you affiiliated with schools or universities I
imagine your summer has just begun. I hope you all had a wonderful academic
Before you go off on well-deserved holidays, or get "out of school
mode", we at Viewpoints Research ask a favor: If you've been using
Squeak/Etoys this year with your children (at home, school, after school
clubhouses, etc., etc.) we'd love to receive your feedback!
Please send us (and the whole list if you'd like) your thoughts,
remarks, suggestions, frustrations, etc. It will be very helpful
to us in many ways.
Also, if you and/or your students have created projects you would be willing
to share, if you could put those on a personal homepage or school website we
could point/link from the Squeakland.org site it
would be fantastic. We're hoping to build more links to help others
see the kinds of Etoy projects created using Squeak.
We're working on an improved version of Squeak this summer which we'll make
available in August -- in time for your testing/playing before the start of
the next academic year. Stay tuned for more news on that front.
In the meantime, we'd love your feedback on the experiences you had this
school year and we wish you all a marvelous summer!
We look forward to seeing some of you at SqueakFest in Chicago. If you
haven't yet, and still want to come, there's a few days left to "register".
(See Squeakland.org and "Squeak News" for details.)
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