Pippy and Calculate - Evolution Solution
yoshiki at vpri.org
Sun Sep 9 15:06:55 EDT 2007
> There were virtually no widespread public systems of education until
> the industrial revolution. Once they came about, they came about with
> a purpose: creating skilled industrial workers.
I would say this part is too much generalization, but,,,
> That's broken. The reason the XO has the potential to change the
> equation in unimaginable ways is because it decouples teaching and
> learning, thus fundamentally eroding this brokenness. Suddenly, you
> can have your cake and eat it too -- if your *teaching* system is
> great, the XO can happily take the passenger seat and become an
> invaluable sidekick to the teacher running the show. But hey, if you
> don't have a teacher AND you're interested, or you simply want to
> learn more than you're taught, you're no longer out of luck. You get
> to learn as much as you want, and in whichever way you want --
> without having to adhere to someone else's idea of what your
> capabilities are.
I think this describes the big goal nicely.
> I'm here today doing what I'm doing because I was allowed to install
> Linux when I was 9. It took me two weeks to get a working
> machine. By 10, I wrote my first (horrible, never submitted, but
> entirely working) kernel patch to support a SCSI drive that wasn't
> working properly. Those 100 lines took three months to write. If
> someone said "what? Linux and a compiler? You don't get to play with
> that until you're grade 12 honors at a minimum," I wouldn't be where
> I am. It's that simple.
Hehe, did you know this is exceptional? For talented people,
especially artist types, the common obstacles such as social pressure,
ignorant adults, etc. don't really matter. They would just do it.
Hopefully, after the deployment, we will have success stories of
normal people (like a successful classroom) as well as for exceptional
Computers in classrooms is not a new concept, and there are a lot of
success stories and failures. If we interview those who have
experiences, make up honest documents that describes how to use it to
teach what, it would be a great thing to distribute with XO. (Ah,
wait. I know a group that is trying to do this...)
> So, about the original suggestion about making the code behind the
> math operations viewable, I think it's a fantastic one. It leverages
> the onion model -- expose simplicity by default, but make complexity
> easily available for those who care. Don't limit those who want more,
> but don't force anything on those who don't. If that's how most
> software was built, our industry would be in far, far better shape
> than it is.
You sound like a Smalltalker^^;
To reiterate my point, I think "the code behind" should be *ideally*
presented in different ways that different learners can understand.
In Etoys, you can go from visual tile scripting to (say) textual
Smalltalk to the Smalltalk parse tree to the stream of virtual
instructions (these are all accessible to the user on XO, BTW).
However, there should be a better view/interface somewhere in
between the tiles and Smalltalk code. And, also the parse tree should
be uniform and independent from Smalltalk. Yes, getting rid of
Smalltalk and make it possible to plug different languages in the
middle is one of our longer term goals, as you know.
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