[Testing] NewTechHigh at Coppell and Etoys info needed

Caryl Bigenho cbigenho at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 20 15:19:07 EST 2010

Hi Folks,
I had a great visit yesterday with the folks at New Tech High @ Coppell, TX. It is a great place, where "facilitators" guide "learners" in their project based learning.  We were very impressed. But, I was surprised to discover they do not teach any computer programming at the school.  If students want to take programming, they can do a concurrent enrollment at the local community college. Their classes are the traditional courses, taught in a very non-traditional way.
Since last year they  have been doing a great Contributors Project with  XOs they are sending to the rescued slave children at the shelter run by the Touch A Life Foundation in Ghana.  As a followup to the work they did last year, they want to create math games for these children to use on the XOs.  They tried doing this last year with Scratch but were not satisfied with their "product" and felt they could do better.
Their project director is a math teacher and she wants her students to try again this year to create math learning games for the children in their project in Ghana.  I suggested she try Etoys this time and promised to get her more information on how to do it.  Anything they create will be at a very elementary level as most of the children in the shelter have had no prior school experience. Their lessons in Etoys should be as language neutral as possible and the words they do use can be translated and used by deployments anywhere so this could be a very useful project.
So I have some questions about things I need to know to help them.
How do you transfer an Etoys lesson to the XO (they will have both XO-1s and XO-1.5s) if they lessons are created:
On a Mac using Etoys downloaded from the web:
On a PC using Etoys downloaded from the web:
On Etoys to go downloaded from the web and, possibly used on both Macs and PCs (they have both at New Tech):
Is there a good way to disseminate the projects so that the children won't accidentally erase them... perhaps by using SD cards or USB sticks? Cost is a factor.
Or... could they make a custom build for their project that would include their Etoys lessons in a way that they wouldn't accidentally be erased?
I will probably have more questions as we go along, but this will help get us all started. 
GrannieB (Caryl)
For more info about NewTech at Coppell:
http://www.newtechnetwork.org/newtech_schools   (watch the video linked in the upper right corner to see how the school works)

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