Teacher Jam Chicago/Results


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ILXO blog post on the event can be found here.

Primarily focused on designing an interface that essentially merged Write, Speak, and Paint into a more interactive storybook format for kids. Ideas were also tossed around for a Magnetic Poetry-like activity, and a graphing program (bar graphs, scatter plots, etc).

One other takeaway point was that there doesn't seem to be too much lower-level activity. The other point was the value of "telescoping" activity design -- stuff that starts simple, but is allows for fairly easy implementation of more complex educational content.

Lessons should we do this again
Start contacting people much sooner! Teachers have crazy busy summer schedules, but it'd have been super valuable to have had their insight.

Know which design aspects we want to focus on to best make use of time.

Event Notes

Discussion of existing activities

Produce Puzzle

  • could be more interactive
  • more facility for helping student solve subproblems

  • no user feedback besides music
  • should always have both visual and audio cues
  • usability
  • very clear to user that you can enter in text/numbers; use arrows on keyboard

things to look for
  • progress tracking
  • more incremental learning
  • feeling of forward movement

takeaway points
  • fruits and veggies = cool
  • translatable, graphical
  • subtly teach health, nutrition
  • (integration = win!)

Things we'd like to do

  • small encapsulated activities
  • achievable tangible learning goal
  • visual translation of concepts


  • sets
  • dividing objects
  • virtual manipulatives
  • graphing
    • plot "favorite color", for example
    • histograms
    • introduce polling concepts
    • something going out schoolwide, XO can compile results. (better to analyze data all at once, rather than add votes one by one -- bias from previous voters)
  • estimation

Language Arts

  • feedback for a spelling program
  • database of words
    • animation, feedback, pronunciation
    • visualize horse vs hoarse, for example
  • make use of most common "x" words in the language

Idea 1
  • interface (teacher/design and a run interface)
    • run: list of correct spelling, mixed up spelling
    • unscramble
  • sentence constructor
    • subject-verb object
    • database knows what is categorized as what, figure out construction rules

magnetic poetry
  • collaborative
  • computer = magnetic haiku (force syllable count)
  • iambic pentameter
  • different poetical forms (A Kick In The Head - book)
  • take snapshots
  • User:Rmyers/Magnetic_Poetry - Bob Myers take

Tell Me A Story
  • create e-books (mix of Speak and Write)
  • Space to type and draw
  • multi-page
  • end result -- stored book, view page to page, then read out loud
  • exchange own written books
  • can be structured, maybe, as a webpage or wiki
  • (work an interface over a web browser engine)
  • record self telling story, too
  • free write - doesn't really need computer to dictate rules
  • learn to identify sentence structure by ear

Looking at Story Builder

  • story builder -- can't seem to build more than one page
  • have to chose from preselected images

Other comments

  • replicate style teachers are accustomed to
  • XOs, computer can change/break down existing education models
  • use to make school more interesting for students

  • SUPPLE software - accessibility
  • understand why kids are having trouble
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