[IAEP] [support-gang] Journal prompts (was: Re: FW: [OLPC Bolivia] No logro aprender Sugar / I cannot learn Sugar)
mokurai at earthtreasury.org
mokurai at earthtreasury.org
Fri Jun 17 11:46:34 EDT 2011
On Fri, June 17, 2011 1:25 am, Kevin Mark wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 10:21:53PM -0400, mokurai at earthtreasury.org wrote:
>> On Thu, June 16, 2011 8:17 am, Walter Bender wrote:
>> >>> One of my favorite examples of using a computer is school is a
>> >>> program at a middle school in Dorchester, MA. The kids spend five
>> >>> minutes writing at the end of *every* class, including gym. Even if
>> >>> they never use "that metadata", the act of reflecting is important.
>> Excellent. Essential for discovery learning.
>> Every serious explorer, scientist, and other discoverer keeps a journal
>> log of everything significant, whether or not it seems to be important
>> the time. These documents are frequently invaluable to their authors and
>> to later workers. When you are chasing an idea, you need to record every
>> twist and turn in the paths you try, even those that seem to be dead
>> It often happens that an exploration that fails to answer one question
>> reach one particular goal becomes important to some other. It is
>> in every possible subject, including gym, where one should record one's
>> progress in training and note areas to investigate for further
>> One of the best places to grasp the value of such notes is in Leonardo
>> Vinci's notebooks. It is not that we can all aspire to either the
>> or quality of his discoveries and inventions, but that he shows us so
>> how it can work, five centuries later, to inspire further discoveries.
>> Kepler's detailed account of his twenty years wrestling with the orbit
>> Mars is another excellent example, though not as immediately accessible.
>> (De Motibus Stellae Martis, The Motions of the Star Mars, in Astronomia
>> Nova, The New Astronomy).
> One of the ideas that I was trying to convey, that I think Mr. Bender
> to in his recent email to me, was that there is a disconnect between what
> people in the OLPC/Sugar camp would like to convey to teachers in
> and what teachers are actually learning about OLPC/Sugar ideas and how
> actually teach.
Exactly so. That is why we need to create much better teacher training
materials, with the help of teachers who understand better than we do what
is missing today.
> I have kept my own notebook in a similar way as you
> but not as a bona fide scientist and I understand what you are conveying
> but if
> you asked a teacher at a deployment if they were using the journal as a
> scientist lab book and telling their students to be 'little scientists',
> you might find that they were not. So that wonderful idea is not making an
> impact and its seems to be a central aspect to the design of Sugar.
>> >>> We do have some tools/supportive mechanisms for using that metadata,
>> >>> including the Portfolio activity. Have you tried it?
>> >> As someone who is not versed in educational theory, I have tried to
>> >> understand
>> >> what intentions where put into Sugar. I have herd mention of
>> >> Constructionism and
>> >> Constructivism and reflection. I could imagine writing after doing
>> >> something as
>> >> a way to gain more from any activity, so that sounds like something
>> >> deployment should do, but I dont know the total picture of what was
>> >> expected.
>> >> And I dont know about what is or was done to convey these idea of
>> >> reflection,
>> >> the journal, the writing and collaboration as part of an ecosystem to
>> >> the
>> >> deployment educators. If this is being done, I'd like to learn about
>> >> and if
>> >> not, then what did I miss about what is told to deployments?
>> > The Sugar design was informed by educational theory and lots of
>> > experience on the ground in numerous pilot programs conducted in
>> > places as far ranging as an inner-city school in the US to a one-room
>> > school in the hill-country of Thailand. That said, the reality of
>> > Sugar deployments is that they are largely determined by the local
>> > teams, which vary from top-down ministry-of-education initiatives to
>> > bottom-up grass-roots efforts by an NGO to the initiative of an
>> > individual classroom teacher. So there is not one voice or message.
>> > What we try to do with Sugar is to skew the odds that certain (good)
>> > things would happen, regardless of the details of the deployment. (In
>> > a similar vain, the 5 principles of OLPC are meant to skew the odds
>> > that a 1-to-1 deployment will have maximum impact.) But we cannot and
>> > don't want to force these ideas on deployments; rather we want them to
>> > be appropriated and transformed locally as fit the needs -- a tough
>> > balance to achieve. More and better documentation is certainly in
>> > order. Even better would be real examples of best practice from the
>> > deployments themselves.
>> Hence Replacing Textbooks, for students, teachers, parents...
> I know that the OLPC XO is suppose to replace the need for text books (and
> books) for students and that the parents can view the child's work and
> that some
> laptops would also be used by parents for learning or adult work. But I am
> missing what that last sentence means about Sugar.
See the Replacing Textbooks page on the Wiki (URL in sig). It is not that
the XO replaces textbooks, but that we create the free digital
replacements for expensive printed textbooks. Not just PDFs of existing
textbooks, but interactive materials that integrate Sugar activities with
subject matter, as Alan Kay has explained for teaching gravity. Here is my
extended version of his lessons, using Turtle Art, Record, and Scratch.
We have to cover every school subject and more for students, with a full
course of teacher training and materials to explain what we are doing to
parents, administrators, politicians...
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