Olin university chapter/Projects/Curriculum/summary
Things that we successfully touched upon in 7 weeks (from ___ list).
Braindump from 4-28-10, last day of "Computer Creations"
- Explosion of shared collaborative knowledge! -- once a cool thing is learned, very rapidly propogates to other
- Computers are kind of an unexplored space. Classroom is only things that teacher introduces, the opportunity isn't there.
- Are computers a necessary interface for this type of learning?
- to what extent is this type of teaching actually taking place in the classroom?
- Interesting REALLY really long term research project
- Sense of control over one's learning?
- tricky to know how hard to push kids
- B. as an example. Not interested in low level (name writing), but really took to more challenging projects, even if we did have to walk him through them to a certain extent.
- Same kind of true with M. -- really had to sit with him the entire class (2nd grader)
- It really helps to keep the grade levels the same! (noticeable difference between 2nd and 5th graders -- Nathan was also young, but he had a brother (5th grade) and family that was particularly supportive of the work)
- Degree of success is pretty high, considering that none of us have any teaching experience.
- Elsa planned out the progression of things we wanted them to learn. The activities were intended to get to those, but we never followed those. They got there semi-independently.
- Worked out very nicely -- but how much can you rely on this to work out nicely if you let them just do things on their own?
- Was this a fluke? (emphasis mine - Andrea's - as I'm particularly interested in the replicability of this approach)
- Would we have had better luck with something like Scratch? E-toys? Block programming as well (repeats, but maybe not variables)
- Easier to incorporate multimedia things
- Learning Scratch could potentially facilitate an introduction to TurtleArt
- Simpler to learn commands
- Etoys is likely too bulky for the XO (everything takes too long!)
If we were to do this again:
- Use mice (at least within an after school context)
- Number of activities we had on the computer was leading to distraction?
- We lost a lot of time to things such as "XOlympics" -- our group wasn't quite at a place where we could segue into a Python introduction.
- Music and art course next time?
Digression: music education
- if you take away the instrumental interface -- make purely tech.
- does it facilitate improvisation?
Usability issues that we encountered (needs more formal organization at some point, leave somewhere more accessible)
- journal, especially
- File interface ( deleting more than one, deleting things)
- Keep system - no feedback on whether its been saved
- Weird saving thing -- never know if it saved, etc, warning
- can't control mesh network you're on
- every technical person who has done system things -- this is a nightmare! (not necessarily a bad idea)
- but what shows this is a bad idea -- kids can't find their work, no encouragement to rename files, etc etc.