[IAEP] [Grassroots-l] OLPC in Kindergarten

Tony Forster forster at ozonline.com.au
Wed Jun 17 05:42:43 EDT 2009

>It's working. You can see the palettes at


>I'll extract some Journal entries using these tiles tomorrow and post
>them, along with a bundle of .svg files of tiles and palettes with
>installation instructions.

Thanks, that's great news! Then we can get some user feedback

>Nobody knows the age limit on teaching graphical programming.

Experience with Scratch and GameMaker is that it works at the whole of a class down to 
grade 3 though I have had smart individuals down to grade 1. But I note that the 
cognitive load is higher for these programming tools, they allow multiple objects and are 
event driven. The beauty of Turtle Art is its simplicity, only 1 object, the turtle and 
no need to get your head around events and their associated actions.

So I agree, lets get something out there, get it road tested and refined and see how low 
it will go.

> ←→↑↓↗↘↶↷↺↻√∡⊥∧∨∼ and others.

Was thinking, turtle motion arrows should have a picture of the turtle too - to underline 
that they are from the turtle's frame, not the child's.

Younger children will have problems with mouse control, particularly with the XO, maybe 
the blocks should be bigger?

In slow mode, the blocks could light up as they execute.

Clean could be a pencil eraser or blackboard duster.

Which are better for flow control, smileys or coloured dots?

0-= I prefer 012, if they can't recognise numerals they will have trouble entering them 

Where the graphic is not reasonably intuitive, maybe better to retain the text? At least 
an adult could read them. Walter is going to do tool tips, that would make my point 
irrelevant, graphics on blocks with text tooltips.

>They don't need localization. This is important for children whose
>language of instruction is not their native language. English in
>Ghana, for example, or French until recently in Rwanda.

Yes, reminds me of Vanuatu, their local language is spoken the village, Bislama is the 
national language but the language of instruction may be English or French. I doubt we 
would ever see localisation down to the local language level, maybe 1000 speakers.

Final thought. We are not eliminating language, just substituting one symbol set for 
another, hopefully more recognisable ones. Language in the wider sense is symbols with 
meanings which can be used for communication and as tools to think with. Mathematics is a 
language too. Though some blocks could have photorealistic symbols, we are mostly using 
abstract symbols like the arrow. (the arrow is based on the bow and arrow but we have all 
but forgotten the roots of its symbolism).

Which gives me another thought. Could we have animated images on the blocks. Then we 
could photorealistically represent actions like move and flow control.

All just topics for discussion, very happy with what you have done, looking forward to 
the installable bundle.

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