[Squeakland] squeakfest conclusions

Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas offray.luna at javeriana.edu.co
Mon Jul 31 04:09:09 PDT 2006

Hi José,

First here come my answers to your questions:

> So, ending with this too long mail, my main questions are:
> - what's the feeling people have brought after attending squeakfest?
My feeling is some kind of general happiness and deep sense of 
opportunity and potential. There are some places where "all it's still 
to be done" but almost always that means that you have not yet a good 
thought concepts or technology enough mature. This is not the case with 
Squeak and all the related developments. It's just that is not main 
stream for some reason (but we can made it main stream). This has a lot 
of advantages, for example, community is small and warm and you don't 
see a lot of informal layers. You start to be part of this community 
very quickly.
> - Are there new development or projects being made in Squeak, or around
> its projects?
We have a educative experience using Squeak in Universities to teach a 
first course on introduction to informatics. You can see the main wiki 
page of Squeak for that course here:


Or search for squeak in the wiki search box to see some works of the 
students using squeak.

You can see also my presentation with the conceptual background of this 
experience in:


You will see also developments on Scratch, Tweak and Croquet in the 
project pages. May be will need to make some kind of "Squeak Ring" so, 
from one site you can reach another sites and may be we can put somekind 
of web bot to make cross searches in a lot of Squeak related sites, even 
if they support different microcommunities interactions and dinamics.
> - Any other related thing you would like to tell to all who felt sad not
> being in Chicago listening and learning..
I think that the most important thing, now that we have a small nice and 
warm community is to think how to make it bigger (not always bigger is 
better, but we need some kind of critical mass). This is some kind of 
memetic exercise ¿How we can make that the memes of Squeak travel better 
and faster in the macroculture? Of course I will not try to answer this 
here, but some clue could be on how we make a better travel of knowledge 
inside the microcommunity and between microcommunities. One of my 
attempts is try to make "hot documentation" in the wikis/blogs while the 
knowledge is acquired. If you follow the RecentChanges on 
el-directorio.org and eduwiki.info and give some places where I can 
follow that changes in your efforts may be we could make some bridges.

I share your concern about education, but things like the SqueakFest 
full me with hope.



José L. Redrejo Rodríguez escribió:
> Hi, all
> I've checked the Squeakfest'06 schedule page and donwloaded some of the
> materials that are available there.
> Unfortunately, the sound of the S. Papert speech recording is pretty
> bad, specially for those who don't have english as our native language,
> the noise make some parts really hard to be understood.
> Anyway, it's wonderful to be able to see it for all of us who haven't
> could attend this year.
> I would like to know more about how the event has gone, some of the
> topics of the schedule that look very promising, as SimBuilder, don't
> have any information at all, to know the state of the art for this
> project.
> But, what for me would be more useful is to know the general impression
> of the attendants to the current state of the Squeak use in particular,
> and of computers at schools in general. Squeak is more or less involved
> in a good bunch of projects as Tweak, Sophie, Croquet, Scratch, OLPC,
> etc, but the feeling I have from the distance is that all that cloud of
> projects don't seem to be followed by the educators, they just look like
> laboratory experiments, not being applied to the classroom except for
> some testing purposes. The main Squeak community seems to be quite
> stationary and almost no new projects (in terms of .pr files and also,
> in term of the application use) have arrived for the last year. Maybe
> it's just an impression as the squeakland site is not updated too often,
> maybe it's the real world. 
> Some of you know that in Spain, in our Extremadura region, some crazy
> people are fighting trying to use the computers to build a new way of
> thinking and a new way of teaching, but the main stream in the educative
> community is really strong, and what I see here, and in the rest of the
> world is that most of the budget is going to pay applications or
> platforms that just translate the text books to the computers, as if
> that were enough to justify the use of computers in the classroom. When
> the teachers have their curricula contents in the computer as in the
> book, they feel safe. That's a stupid way of thinking for me as the text
> book is cheaper and easier to use, but people feel comfortable that
> way. 

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