[IAEP] Observations and feature requests based on watching a preK class use a computer lab

Gary C Martin gary at garycmartin.com
Fri Feb 27 17:28:22 EST 2009

On 27 Feb 2009, at 20:57, Caroline Meeks wrote:

> Today I visited a computer lab at a school in Boston where 3-5 year  
> olds (the PreK class) were using the computers in the computer lab.

Nice feedback. Just wanted to raise the 'know your audience' scope,  
isn't 3-5yrs out of previous Sugar design scope? I though it was more  
like 6-16yrs? Saying that, I'd be very happy to be able to lower the  
age barrier to entry, but it gets tough not to loose other features  
(i.e I say 3-5yrs would be a non-multitasking user interface, one  
activity at a time, no switching, just stopping, and back to home).


> The teacher tried to get them to use Kidspirations to look at and  
> stamp bugs but they rebelled. All they wanted to do was use KidPix.
> We need a paint program that is as cool as KidPix or we will suffer  
> the same fate. They will turn off Sugar and go back to Windows to  
> use KidPix!
> In Kidpix the students learned that they need to use the mouse and  
> not the keyboard. By the time I left all students had managed to  
> learn to use the mouse to make something on the screen.  I saw some  
> kids make the connection that they had done something with the mouse  
> and it had appeared on the screen.  Some were painting with colors,  
> others were stamping with images.  Some kids had learned how to  
> erase the screen and start over.
> Clearly learning was going on.  I thought to myself, "what would  
> take this lesson to the next level for these students".  I think,  
> based on the interactions the teachers were having as they spent  
> individual time with the students, that it would be valuable to  
> these students to begin to tell stories about their pictures.  It  
> would be cool if the kids could record a voice note when they saved  
> a picture in the journal.  This could help the teachers move them  
> towards telling stories about thier pictures. I think that would in  
> turn motivate them to want to control what they did with the picture  
> more.
> Our goal with the journal is to get kids to reflect on thier work.   
> For many of the students in the age range we serve typing that  
> reflection is going to be a challenge and we might well get more  
> thoughtful reflection if they could speak it.
> -- 
> Caroline Meeks
> Solution Grove
> Caroline at SolutionGrove.com
> 617-500-3488 - Office
> 505-213-3268 - Fax
> _______________________________________________
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