[IAEP] kids building Re: activities (games) recommended age

James Simmons nicestep at gmail.com
Thu Nov 29 11:00:57 EST 2012


I know a proud father (not affiliated with OLPC in any way, nor is his
daughter) whose daughter likes telling stories.  She's too young to write
them down, so her father helps with that.  He has enough of her stories
that he's going to publish a collection on Create Space.  I've read one of
her stories.  It wasn't bad.  I doubt that the father could do as well
without his daughter's assistance.

I have two smart nieces.  One went to the Illinois Math And Science
Academy.  The other went to Thomas Jefferson High School in Virginia.  In
both schools there are no textbooks.  The teachers are responsible for
creating the materials the students study.  I helped my niece with her Java
homework, so I got to see the texts she was studying from.  They were quite
good, and they had a CC license so other schools could use them if they
wanted to.  I don't know how much effort the teachers put into making that
happen.  I imagine if they tried too hard they could get into trouble.

Going from consumers of education (or even just textbooks) to producers is
a big step.  Children and teachers alike need some encouragement to make
that step.  They can't be punished for doing it wrong, or for doing it at

I'm a big believer in constructionism because as a kid I was always trying
to poke around and learn things on my own.  I watched Mr. Wizard on TV and
my mom bought me his book and I did experiments from the book on my own.  I
learned about amateur radio and I had a friend whose dad was a "Ham" who
built his own equipment.  The antenna in their back yard was almost bigger
than their house.  Their garage was full of radio parts.

So you could say that we have only a handful of students writing code for
Sugar and Activities, but they didn't develop in isolation.  They're all in
the same club.  So maybe that's one possibility.  You need an environment
outside of normal school where a kid can learn stuff he wants to learn
without getting punished for his failures, with adults available to offer

James Simmons

On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 6:10 PM, Yama Ploskonka <yamaplos at gmail.com> wrote:

> James,
> impressive work! congrats!
> On 11/28/2012 04:19 PM, James Simmons wrote:
> <snip>
> http://www.flossmanuals.net/e-**book-enlightenment/<http://www.flossmanuals.net/e-book-enlightenment/>
>> eate books too.  Just as we have students writing Sugar Activities and
>> even contributing code to Sugar itself we will also soon have students
>> writing and publishing textbooks and other materials.
> in a few words, what do you think is the key elements that are stopping
> kids from doing that?
> As you present them so well, it is not because of lack of tools and
> resources.
> I would assume there would be a ramp up, a few at first, then a deluge. So
> far apparently really not much...
> Something must be missing. After 5 years and couple million XO's in the
> wild, it's not happening (yet?), to the point that maybe it will never
> happen?
> BTW, you know that the kids contributing code, they can be counted with
> the fingers of one hand... Which makes them all the more important, but,
> again, why not more? why not teachers, hundreds of them?
> Maybe it's something to do with construct***sm? Evolution?
> ______________________________**_________________
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/**listinfo/iaep<http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/iaep/attachments/20121129/56f434e7/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the IAEP mailing list