[squeakland] Artifacts in ObjectCatalog
Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas
offray.luna at javeriana.edu.co
Tue Jun 22 09:03:52 EDT 2010
On 06/03/2010 06:10 AM, Hilaire Fernandes wrote:
> Steve Thomas a écrit :
>> As far as whether they should be included in the Etoys Object
>> Catalog. At this point I think not.
>> Etoys (as near as I can figure) is built upon doing everything from
>> first principles, which is part of its power and beauty.
>> That said I think we need to solve the problem that it can take quite
>> a while and not everyone is capable of building things from first
> You can even wrote most people are not capable of building things from
> first principles. If we want Etoys to scale to a larger audiance, it
> is a way to go.
> Of course, it is not because we provide higher level artefact (in a
> way we found appropriate) we are closing the door.
About what Katlenn Hilaire and Steve are discussing, I think that we
need a way to make Etoys grow with their audience. I used Scracth and
Etoys to teach "Introduction to Informatics" with freshmen students in
University and now I use them to teach some introductory concepts of
object oriented programming to teachers who are making master studies on
didactics with an emphasis on Information and Communication
Technologies. So my students population is not primary children, but
young students and seasoned teachers and thats why I have a concern with
an environment that grow with the student. In my personal experience
artifacts (in the sense that Hilaire is talking) are necesary. My first
necessity of them came with my studies on collective problem solving and
adding Bots Inc artifact (made by Ducasse) to Etoys was a major
improvement in the learning experience. And I think that DrGeoII is also
an improvement in a lot of contexts.
I think that Etoys/Squeak embodies much powerful ideas about what
informatics should be, as powerful that is some kind of response about
what you thought about computers before the very first encounter with
Squeak. Computer as cognitive artifacts need to have a discourse about
knowledge (an epistemology). For me these are some of the powerful ideas
* Self contained: Squeak has a discourse about itself. You can change
Squeak from Squeak itself. I have seen this in other software like the
(Literate Editor with Outlines) made in python.
* Metamedium: This is where Squeak surely beats others. Is a way to
think / create discourse about other digital media. In general the idea
of creating discourse about digital is an effort you see in the
Smalltalk/Squeak group since the beginning. Now it has incarnations in
projects like COLA (Collaborative Object Lambda Architecture), but again
you can see this in some way in Tiddlywiki (but their discourse is only
about hipertext and hipermedia and they "delegate to the browser" most
of the media part) and Leo in the sense that using a variant of Literate
Programming you can organize a program in a way that fits your way of
understanding / explaining, not only classes, objetcts, methods and so
on. What I try to point is that Squeak is a place to think about other
things including informatics and other scientific disciplines and
science itself. The idea of using computers to represent/empower human
thinking is also in hypermedia and literate programming, for example,
and is possible to see in it a diverse intellectual tradition that
includes thinkers like Kay, Engelbart, Nelson, Knuth. For me, if we want
to make improvements on education we need to honor that tradition and
make more explicit connections between this schools and proposals.
The comments of Katleen, Hilaire and Steve are rooted in a way to
improve the learning experience (well we all comment on that in this
list) and I think that we need to have a look about how computers are
thought as cognitive artifacts that have a discourse about knowledge and
look at several traditions. In that way we can use the ideas behind
Squeak and others, even if we're not using Squeak (or others) directly.
For example, as my teaching went from informatics to mathematics I
started to try to inform (in the sense of giving form and sense) to my
teaching practices from the ideas learned in the Squeak community and
connect them with others, even if my tools where Computer Algebra
Systems, Scientific word processors and Social Software, but this will
be part of another mail... this one went too long and I'm taking a long
detour of the initial discuss.
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