[Sugar-devel] GPA School Notes Wed. July 15 - GS
tomeu at sugarlabs.org
Fri Jul 17 04:36:43 EDT 2009
On Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 21:28, Greg Smith<gregsmithpm at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi All,
> Here are my notes from today's class. Anurag will send out notes on
> what we did in class so I will focus on UI and usability comments. I
> also recorded the post class warm/cold comments.
Wonder if we could send emails like this to IAEP for more broad
feedback, then send a shorter email with specific issues, questions,
etc to sugar-devel?
I have trouble seeing what we can do from the development side to
improve on these use cases, but maybe after some discussion in IAEP
this clears up.
Keep up the great work,
> Sorry I didn't get a chance to get on IRC after the class as planned.
> We got "local" collaboration working well so we will go with that and
> stop debugging Jabber issues for now.
> About 10 x 3rd graders were in the class today. This was their second
> time with Sugar. Caroline led the class as Walter is travelling and
> several kids asked "where is the other guy?".
> The main activity was to get pictures of states of wikipedia, then put
> those in Memorize and create games (e.g. picture of Texas, word
> "Texas" makes a match) and share the memorize so two kids can play
> Warm/cold post class comments:
> Collaboration worked well. Kids were able to join each others games
> and reload games as needed. They could change partners easily too. The
> importing map from Wikipedia worked well. They quickly understood how
> to switch from browse to memorize and how to save and access things
> from the journal. They retained a lot fo what they learned before.
> 3 person collaboration didn't always work.
> Collaboration added to the kids engagement. They learned a lot about
> state names and the drilling aspects seemed to help them remember.
> There were multiple steps but they seemed to handle it well. It would
> have been harder with fewer adults to help each kid but every kid got
> it. Went great overall.
> 3 or person collaboration worked sometimes but not always. May have
> been a work flow thing (e.g. if two already playing third has to wait
> until end of game to join). The loading and customization of USB
> sticks was labor intensive.
> Fun time and impressive production by the kids in terms of creating games.
> Some tasks were hard and kids needed help (see below).
> kids were enthusiastic. They learned how to spell state names. Kids
> helped each other out.
> Sometimes when switching partners, some kids were left out.
> Usability comments from me.
> Educational Context
> The kids really wanted to know what to do next. If they didn't know
> where to click to download an image they would just sit and wait or
> get distracted or ask a teacher or me. With several kids asking you
> something at the same time and poking you for your attention, its a
> little overwhelming: what do I do now?, how do you spell Louisiana?,
> how do I go back to memorize?, etc.
> I asked the teacher how he handles that and he said he spends extra
> time preparing them. Gives exact steps, goes over them several times,
> and ask the kids to repeat back what they will do. He can handle a few
> kids asking follow up questions but if more than 2 - 3 need help then
> it probably wasn't explained well enough in advance.
> That was not what I expected. My inclination is to say" go ahead and
> do whatever you want. You can do this, but anything you create will be
> original and interesting. Of course, to a kid, do what every you want
> turns in to run around in the sun and tickle my class mates.
> If you constrain it to: in the class using the computer, they want to
> know what to do next. They want to do the right thing, finish the
> assignment and accomplish their task. So structure and direction is
> important. Probably obvious to any teacher but kind of a surprise to
> Steps to accomplish the assigned task.
> We setup the collaboration and had connected computers in pairs with
> Memorize open when we started.
> Their task with steps as we intended was as follows:
> - Open browse
> - Go to WIkipedia.org
> - Type in a state name in the search field
> - Right click on the picture of the state and choose download
> - Click "continue" count down timer ot just wait for download to complete.
> - Click OK or Show in Journal
> - Open frame
> - Choose Memorize
> - Choose create tab as needed
> - Choose eye icon to upload state image
> - Find and select state image on journal
> - Type state name in matching tile
> - Click Add pair
> - Repeat as needed
> - Save Game
> - Click Play tab
> - Open game
> Play with friend or variant of choose SHare with my Neighborhood and
> have friend find you.
> Everybody got it eventually but most needed help somewhere. Examples
> of things they needed help with, from kids I worked with:
> - Couldn't remember how to start "world" AKA browse.
> - Needed help spelling Wikipedia.
> - Couldn't find search field on wikipedia because frame was covering half of it
> - Needed help spelling state names
> - Didn't remember Right click on image to download in browse.
> - Clicked on drop down instead of icon (e.g. clicking stop they put
> the cursor over the stop sign then saw the drop down text saying
> "Stop" then clicked on that and nothing happens. They should click
> directly on the stop sign itself.
> - Couldn't remember how to get back to Memorize (aka task switch using
> the frame).
> - Didn't know how to find a game they could join (aka go to network
> - Found a person's icon in network neighborhood and clicked on it
> instead of the Memorize icon just below the name.
> - Didn't wait for popup/hover text when moving cursor around network
> neighborhood so couldn't find anyone.
> - Wanted to load their own game and share that instead of playing the
> other kids game.
> - Weren't sure which item in journal was the state image they just downloaded.
> - Loaded a picture in Memorize by accident and couldn't figure out how
> to get rid of it
> Just observations. Any one of these issues would bring the kid to a
> complete halt. If they didn't know what to do next they would just
> look at the screen or ask for help.
> After going through the whole thing a few times they became more
> independent.Perhaps these are just things they acquire over time, we
> will see next class.
> One thing was clear, they are still acquiring the concept of tasks,
> applications, activities, and files. Before that, it's just ordered
> steps to get to a final goal. e.g. looking at the wikipedia page for
> Louisiana is just seeing stuff on the screen. Its not clear that you
> are in the browse application that the picture is a file and browse is
> a tool to find and download that picture so you can use it later in
> Memorize. That innocence is almost gone already. Very soon they will
> develop a mental model which is some transformation of how programmers
> think a computer/OS is supposed to work.
> FYI I came across one alternative interface recently. See the end of
> the first paragraph in this post (the rest is irrelevant):
> The idea is that you say: "send an e-mail to Joe saying, 'Hi Joe, meet
> me for lunch at noon'". Instead of saying, open the e-mail
> application, put joe at joe.com in the To field, put meet me for lunch at
> noon in the Body, send the e-mail, close the e-mail application.
> I wonder if that is better or just an unnecessary obfuscation.
> Greg S
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