#3655 (Specify the order of the Activity taskbar icons)

Yoshiki Ohshima yoshiki at vpri.org
Thu Sep 20 17:51:16 EDT 2007


  Thank you for responding.  I admit that just reading a short
description of a bug track ticket may miss the context behind it, but
anyway here goes:

> > Specifically, the first 6 icons from the left should be (in order):
> > Chat, Browse, Write, Record, Paint, TamtamJam?
> >
> > After that:
> > Turtle Art, eToys, Pippy, Calculator, Measure, TamTamEdit?, SynthLab?, Memorize, Blockparty, and Connect4.
> > -----
> >
> >   It appears to me that this ordering puts higher emphasis on "simple
> > and easy" things and less emphasis on things that require "creativity
> > and hard fun" (excluding games).  Is this observation correct?
> I'm not sure that analysis is quite fair.  Browse and Chat are at the
> top of the list because one of the foremost goals of OLPC is to
> provide "connection," both to peers (for collaborative learning) and
> to the internet (to provide access to information they otherwise don't
> have).
> Write, Paint, Record, and TamTam address the primary (as opposed to
> "simple") tools for creative expression in text, image, video, and
> audio media respectively.  The other tools are all fantastic, and
> that's why they are still on the list for inclusion as base
> activities.

  I wonder if you followed the "Human Universals" thread while ago
(mainly on the Squeakland mailing list but a bit on here as well).  It
may have been a difficult argument but the point was that just
augmenting the stuff inherently built into human beings is not really
important in educational sense.  Chatting, painting, talking and other
stuff like making up a story are something kids can do on their own
even without taught.  On the other hand, writing and reading,
mathematics, science, and etc. were inventions, nand all generation
after the invention had to learn them to be fluent with the ideas.

  Your definition of "primary" seems to follow (some exceptions like
Write) the "universal" stuff that don't have to be taught.

> >   If so, it may send a wrong message to the rest of world.  Many
> > potential cuostomer contries have cellphones and PCs already, and
> > adults and youth are chatting and browsing and taking notes (and
> > playing games) with them.  Are we trying to compete in such
> > "cellphone" culture domain?
> >
> >   I'd say, cellphones and PCs they already have can take care of
> > simple stuff, so our priority (or our message) should be more on the
> > "hard fun" items.
> These laptops are often going to people and places where cellphones
> and laptops don't exist for reasons of cost, power consumption, lack
> of connectivity.  We're addressing all of those issues, and at the
> same time providing an array of activities which address all age
> groups and interests.

  Often, but probably often not.  And the same argument stands.  There
are people who try to provide low-power cheap cellphone network to
these areas.  Again, we don't have to complete with that direction.

>  Just because some of them are "simple" doesn't mean that they can't
> produce incredibly impressive and complex results in the hands of a
> creative individual (or group of individuals).

  This statement is just too general.  Creative people can do anything
under every possible limitations.

>  Furthermore, the emphasis on connectedness and collaboration puts
> even the most basic activities on the laptops far ahead of any
> mobile applications and in some ways many desktop applications as
> well.

  But it is not education.

-- Yoshiki

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