[Etoys] Nitpicker asks: Can students build a narration using eToys?

Yoshiki Ohshima yoshiki at squeakland.org
Thu Jan 18 18:00:04 EST 2007

  Hi, Richard,

> If a laptop using student has collected a series of photos and hand  
> drawn images and diagrams, then she might wish to use some tool to  
> assist in constructing a slide show with vocal narration. Does eToys  
> already support such an endeavor?

  In many different ways, yes!

   However, remember that when it comes to a specific task like this,
you cannot expect to have a polished result without having some
experiences.  We keep saying that "Etoys is not a productivity tool",
meaning that it doesn't come with nice fancy features, clip art, smart
menu, smart spell correction, smart scaling, etc, etc. to make the
task of creating "slide show with narration" really smooth.

  ... I was going to write how you would do step by step, but I guess
it is not what you would like, but just check the "Demon Castle"
tutorial which is currently bundled with the Etoys on the laptop.
Demon Castle uses BookMorph (or Book), which is surely accessible to
any user.  (And it has reasonably high production value.)

  To start to make something like that by yourself, click on the red
"Supplies" tab near bottom right corner, and drag out "Book" icon.

  Demon Castle doesn't have voice narration right now, but you can add
it by using the "Sound" tool in the Supplies tab.  Drag out "Sound"
from it, and press "Record" to start recording, and press "Stop" when
you finish it.  You can make the recorded sound segment into a tile,
and play it back.  You can script it so that it gets played when the
book page is turned and a particular page is visited, or when the user
press a button, etc., etc.  That would make pretty decent "slides with
vocal narration".

> I would think that  such a tool would assist students working alone  
> or with others to build a viewable class report. Even if the report  
> (or narration) itself is then used to teach passive students, the  
> process of creating it seems to fit with the constructivist (or is it  
> constructionist) flavor of education preferred by the founders of  
> OLPC. Not only will the builders learn about the subject of their  
> report, they will gain experience in composing reports and in  
> expressing themselves in useful ways. This is valuable and engaging  
> educational experience.

  Oh, yes.  Among various laptop.org mailing lists, this insight comes
up on etoys at laptop.org more than others^^;

  One thing we are doing is to make a sub-system (a bit more like a
productivity tool) to make tutorials and teaching materials of various
kind.  The hardware is almost there, and the software that hackers can
write up is getting shape.  However, materials for the learners and
teachers are largely missing.  We would like to provide good support
for students and "students-become-teachers".

  Thank you!

-- Yoshiki

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