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

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Mon Mar 9 20:53:52 EDT 2009

On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 3:28 PM, Gary C Martin <gary at garycmartin.com> wrote:
> 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?

That may be, but if so it is a fundamental error. We have evidence of
children learning and loving Record at age two. I am working on an
iconic tile set for Turtle Art, in order to experiment with teaching
it to preschoolers. We know from the work of Omar Khayyam (sic) Moore
in the early 1960s that children can learn to read and write at a
keyboard at age two, with some combination of computer and human
assistance. We have almost no idea of what else is possible for

Another interesting line of research is in teaching infants sign
language. They can apparently construct sentences six months before
they can say words. How we might adapt computers to do any of this
will require considerable thought and experiment.

> I though it was more
> like 6-16yrs?

I have seen statements varying among

K-6 (~5-11)
1-6 (~6-11)
K-12 (~5-17)
1-12 (~6-17)

I'm holding out for something like ages 0-11. ^_^

> 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).

Yes, more thought and experimentation required.

> --Gary
>> 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.

Silent Thunder (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) is my name
And Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, The Truth my destination.
http://earthtreasury.net/ (Edward Mokurai Cherlin)

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