Squeak

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Squeak is an open source portable version of the Smalltalk programming environment that grew out of Alan Kay's Dynabook concept. It can be used by children at the Etoys level to program graphically by assembling objects and scripts. LOGO turtle-graphics, learning and applications can be done in Etoys as well, including programming multiple turtles for simulating complex behavior. Squeak can also be used by developers to write professional programs. The image runs identically on Linux, MS and Apple OS's; there is a separate virtual machine for each OS.

Connectors are one of the built in features of Squeak. Connectors allow easily creating concept maps, flow charts, etc., with boxes and connecting links.

Active essays can be developed in Squeak. These are similar to books where each page can contain simulations running in real time. Active essays combine a written essay, live simulations, and the programs that make them work in order to provide a deep explanation of a dynamic system. The reader works directly with multiple ways of representing the concepts under discussion. By “playing with” the simulations and code, the reader gets some hands-on experience with the topic.

Specific to the OLPC environment, there is the Etoys activity which is derived from http://www.squeakland.org/

Scratch is a scripting environment for children being developed at MIT which is built on top of Squeak: http://weblogs.media.mit.edu/llk/scratch/ The Turtle Art activity has a similar visual programming interface, graphical elements are snapped together to form complete programs.

Squeak has support for Unicode and some work has been done with two of the target languages, Telugu and Hindi. There is a large and vibrant Squeak community that is working on many different aspects of Squeak and educational applications.

External links

Python

PataPata is an environment written in Python, that tries to emulate some of the functionality of Squeak. It supports educational constructivism on the Python platform, inspired by "Squeak" and "Self", but going beyond those in a Pythonic way. It is intended to mainly support "unschooling", "free schooling", and "informal" education.

PyMorphic is a project that explores a Morphic-like architecture for Python.

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