[IAEP] Fwd: Helping kids develop mobile applications?

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Thu Apr 1 08:31:32 EDT 2010

On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 7:15 PM,  <forster at ozonline.com.au> wrote:
> “you cannot edit projects on the phone. The authoring UI would have to
> be completely redesigned. For serious work it's just too small, you at least need a screen size like the XO has“
> Thanks Bert & Cherry
> What would a good learning app for a phone look like? It need not be a visual block programming language but could be.
> Authoring would be always on
> Low entry, wide walls and high ceiling
> Collaborative
> Would give access to the microphone, speaker, camera, screen and networks (Bluetooth, Wifi and phone)
> If an iPhone, it would give access to the Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Assisted GPS and Digital compass
> It would amplify human thought
> The pencil and paper amplify thought. We can create a music score, diagram or text of greater complexity on paper than we can hold in our head. The computer, like pencil and paper, allows us to store and inspect our project. Unlike paper, it also can 'play' our project.  TamTam, Record, Etoys and Physics are examples that utilise the computer as a player.
> The screen is how we transfer a project of great complexity inside the device to the limited representation which is inside our heads. The eye is well adapted to find a smaller piece of information in a larger project and concentrate our attention on it. Does it have to be the screen? A small screen is a problem.
> The iPhone has a resolution of 480-by-320-pixels at 163 ppi , I would need glasses but its not that small a screen for young eyes. TurtleArt has a number of features which adapt it to small screens.

Another possibility is to use multiple devices for the authoring
environment, spreading the problem out across multiple phones.


> named stacks of blocks
> collapsible stacks
> zoom in and out
> scrollable canvas
> save and restore stacks in trash
> Sugar uses the frame as a way to conserve screen space.
> I do not think that the phone is too small a platform for serious work. I hope that somebody will create a phone app which follows the educational principles of Etoys: authoring always on, low entry, wide walls, high ceiling and collaborative. It might not be a visual programming tool though.
> Tony
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Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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