[IAEP] Feedback needed: pippy use cases?

Anish Mangal anish at activitycentral.org
Wed Feb 23 12:21:44 EST 2011

[cc += iaep, sugar-devel, quozl]

On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 10:43, Nicholas Doiron <ndoiron at andrew.cmu.edu> wrote:
> Hi Anish,
> I taught an exploratory Pippy class in Uganda and would be happy to share
> feedback on the activity.  I also wrote a lesson plan for the Digital
> Literacy Project.
> 1. The Ugandan students were 6th-7th graders, and I felt they could handle
> the activity because they had learned pre-algebra, and were interested in
> the computers.
> I also shared a lesson plan with this teacher from Plan Ceibal (
> http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/olpc-uruguay/2010-September/003472.html
> )
> 2. Any activity using the mesh or Jabber system is difficult and
> time-consuming to set up in the classroom.  I haven't tested collaboration
> with Pippy.
> 3. We all worked on the same example.
> 4. Not only explain code, also help guide students to know some variables
> they can modify.  As a self-taught programmer, I first learned by changing
> variables (for example, speeding up cars in a racing game) and seeing the
> results.  The Camera.py example was a cool way to start kids doing this,
> too.  We can change the scale and rotation applied to the photo, or change
> the background color, just by changing a few numbers.  Right now it takes
> a lot more teacher guidance than experimenting... maybe there's a happy
> medium.
> There should be simple camera, microphone, and/or text-to-speech examples
> to entertain kids and draw them in.  Geometry and algebra basics are
> covered well in TurtleArt... I don't know how easily they could be
> introduced using Pippy.
> 5. It would be great for us to be able to share and download more
> examples. Could they be shared using XOL bundles?
> 6. I wrote an example in Spanish which uses espeak text-to-speech, adding
> -ves for Spanish pronunciation: http://pastebin.com/1QPk27rd  But you
> can't avoid most keywords in programming languages being in English.
> There have been several discussions about this on StackOverflow:
> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/384683/if-you-are-working-in-a-non-english-speaking-country-do-you-write-your-developmen
> One of the unanticipated challenges which I faced in Uganda was opposition
> from another American student volunteer.  She said "you're supposed to
> teach how to use a computer, not to program them".
> I am worried that in education, there are many such people who like
> technology but avoid getting their hands dirty.  I suggest that you
> associate creating programs with creating other content such as
> student-made movies, stories, fanfic, and characters.
> Considering we went to the trouble of giving schools an open-source
> computer, considering that we hope these kids' careers and quality of life
> will be improved by smart mobile phones and programs, hiding programming
> from them would be incredibly short-sighted and even controlling.  Pippy
> isn't the easiest activity, but it does give students a direct line to the
> underlying tech, and a real-world programming language.
> Regards,
> Nick Doiron
> On Tue, February 22, 2011 11:03 pm, Anish Mangal wrote:
>> Hi,
>> As Pippy maintainer, I'm looking for inputs as to how is Pippy
>> intended to be used in a classroom environment and how is it currently
>> used. In particular:
>> 1. What grades use Pippy? Could it be used in lower grades with some
>> changes? If so, what could be the nature of those changes?
>> 2. Collaborative code editing? How much is it actually used? What
>> could be made better?
>> 3. Sharing/reviewing of examples by other kids/teachers?
>> 4. Would more explanatory code comments in Pippy examples help?
>> 5. Would having a central repository of having pippy code examples
>> help... For example, the ability to download/upload to a url like
>> pippy.sugarlabs.org?
>> 6. Would it help to have the examples in different languages wherever
>> possible (spanish, for example)?
>> Inputs will help guide future releases of Pippy.
>> --
>> Anish
>> _______________________________________________
>> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
>> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep

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