Don Hopkins dhopkins at DonHopkins.com
Thu May 31 14:37:25 EDT 2007

I would love to see something like Geometer's Sketchpad (based on ideas 
from Ivan Sutherland's original Sketchpad) on the OLPC.



"Sketchpad was a revolutionary computer program written by Ivan 
Sutherland in 1963 in the course of his PhD thesis. It helped change the 
way people interact with computers. Sketchpad is considered to be the 
ancestor of modern computer-aided drafting (CAD) programs as well as a 
major breakthrough in the development of computer graphics in general. 
Ivan Sutherland demonstrated with it that computer graphics could be 
utilized for both artistic and technical purposes in addition to showing 
a novel method of human-computer interaction."


"The Geometer's Sketchpad is a popular commercial interactive geometry 
software program for exploring Euclidean geometry, algebra, calculus, 
and other areas of mathematics. It was created by Nicholas Jackiw. It is 
designed to run on Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 or later and Mac OS 8.6 
or later (including Mac OS X). It also runs on Linux under Wine with few 
minor bugs.

Geometer's Sketchpad includes the traditional Euclidean tools of 
classical Geometric constructions; that is, if a figure (such as the 
pentadecagon) can be constructed with compass and straight-edge, it can 
also be constructed using this program. However, the program also allows 
users to employ transformations to "cheat," creating figures impossible 
to construct under the traditional compass-and-straight-edge rules (such 
as the regular nonagon)."


Steve Fullerton wrote:
> A very simplified spreadsheet on the OLPC machine would be nothing 
> more than a teacher's blackboard that is interactive.  E.g. the child 
> can experiment/interact with the blackboard.  Traditionally, numbers 
> are written on the board; solutions are given.  The ability of the 
> student to manipulate these would be a great advance.  The bridge from 
> rote learning to experimental learning.
> This is something we are thinking about at UCSD.
> On 5/31/07, *Yoshiki Ohshima* <yoshiki at squeakland.org 
> <mailto:yoshiki at squeakland.org>> wrote:
>       Michael,
>     > There are no plans for an official OLPC spreadsheet activity. At
>     > least, none that I have heard of (or could imagine). Largely
>     because 6
>     > year olds shouldn't have access to it.
>       Can you explain why they shouldn't?
>       Spreadsheet is a good way to experiment numbers and (usually)
>     provides simple rules to manipulate them.  Thinking about patterns and
>     relationships, it can be a pretty good tool.
>       A built-in graph feature would be a plus, but it is also good way to
>     make them "draw" a graph by usign each cells as pixels.  Making a
>     graph feature should give them better understanding what a graph is.
>       (For the making graph part, many kind of graphs can be done in Etoys
>     (and TurtleArt) by using the pen feature.  Etoys has a "holder"
>     object
>     that can hold a sequence of numbers as text, so you can do very
>     rudimentary spread sheet like thing by yourself...)
>     -- Yoshiki
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