What do teachers have to understand in order to facilitate learning with XOs? What knowledge do they need to know or have access to? What skills are important?
The Pursuit of Truth
Textbooks are often mistaken. Many contain outright lies. Children must have permission to seek the truth, no matter where that takes them. They must have permission to know more than the teacher. All societies have inviolable myths and taboos, so these permissions are rarely given at all, and then only within certain limits.
Learning by Doing
It often happens that children can learn to perform a task by watching it being done, but not by listening to an explanation. A verbal explanation can sometimes destroy previous experiential learning, or prevent future learning.
Know-how is not the same as understanding.
Learn from Children How They Learn
- Maria Montessori
- Jerome Bruner
- Caleb Gattegno
- John Holt
When Children Can't Learn
- War and lesser forms of violence
- Pestilence and other ailments
- Famine and lesser forms of hunger and malnutrition
- Physical and mental abuse
- Broken homes
Sympathy helps with most of these problems. Deciding that children who have difficulty are lazy or stupid is a common practice that helps not at all, and usually makes such problems worse.
Listening to children, allowing them to talk about problems (particularly those that society prefers not to know about), noticing that a problem exists when the child does not say; all of these are of the greatest value.
There are a number of simple things that are not immediately discoverable on the XO, particularly for those who have never seen a computer before. Although the children would sooner or later find out about them and share this information, it is simpler to have the teacher demonstrate them. In the earliest grades, children will need assistance entering their names into the computers on first boot.
- Unlatching and opening the XO
- Buttons and touchpad
- Ports: USB, sound, card slot
- Wireless connections
- Making friends
- Sharing activities
- Putting the cursor in a corner to bring up the Sugar frame
- Sound level
- Screen backlight
- Tablet mode with screen rotate
- Launching activities
- Shutting down activities
- Tamtam music keyboard (chromatic, two octaves)
- MIDI settings
- Specifics of many activities
- Accessing Open Firmware
- Accessing the command line, and getting back to X.