[Sugar-devel] Testing Summary: Auckland NZ - 9 October 2010

Art Hunkins abhunkin at uncg.edu
Sat Oct 9 22:02:10 EDT 2010


i very much appreciate your feedback on the FileMix activity. Actually, two of the four options in FileMix require only the ASCII keyboard, not a MIDI controller. (This is the same in my other two activities, Our Music and SunMoonMusic.) The MIDI versions give better results and are much more intuitive to use, however.

Regarding your other observations, I am certainly guilty as charged. I'm well aware that most activities (understandably) use a minimum of on-screen text. (Though my other activities are not as extreme as FileMix, they too are text-intensive.)

In these cases, I think the explanations are required; without them, there is no sound - only frustration. Clearly, FileMix, in particular, is appropriate only for older children.

All three activities are specified as being English-language only. This is surely a crucial limitation. I accepted this limitation as text (individual words) is closely related to visual display and screen layout, both vertically and horizontally.

I have two redeeming thoughts about this personal decision:
1) English is widely used as a second language;
2) Text instructions can hopefully be explained by the teacher, and once grasped, can readily be absorbed and internalized by students. From that point, the students can be creative and explore the limits on their own.

A final observation: Though young learners (including my granddaughter, aged 9) take well to graphics and unbridled creative activity, as an *adult* (read: senior citizen) learner, I much appreciate instructions and some guidance to keep me from despair and frustration.

As an example: it is clearly indicated (via text) in FileMix which of the four options require MIDI controller and which don't. If this info *weren't* immediately available to the user, one would *certainly* abandon the activity.

Art Hunkins
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Tabitha Roder 
  To: olpc-nz at lists.laptop.org ; OLPC testing ; sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org 
  Cc: Simon Schampijer ; Walter Bender 
  Sent: Saturday, October 09, 2010 2:19 AM
  Subject: [Sugar-devel] Testing Summary: Auckland NZ - 9 October 2010

  Testing Summary: Auckland NZ - 9 October 2010

  Who: Abhishek, Charlotte, Fabiana, John, Leslie, Robin, Tabitha, Tom

  Tested activities on XO-1.0s

  Could not test as seems we have to have a midi controller to plug in.
  We were a bit surprised to open a Sugar activity and see loads of text on the screen. Can this be presented better? What if you can't read all that or there is no local translation?
  Thanks testers


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