Marketing Team/Events/YMCA Healthy Kids Day
We had quite a steady stream and the last two had to get thrown out a good bit after 3pm as they were completely enthralled with Speak.
We had 9 computers running to some extent but if I had to do it again I would only use 7 of them. I would not use the one with no curser or #7 which was too slow and died several times. They caused more problems then good.
It went well. I learned a lot. Lots of progress, lots of minor obstacles. This is a stream of conciousness first draft but I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to edit it so I thought I'd put it up.
Memorize was far more popular then I expected. These kids wanted to sit there and work on their addition, I'd see them with their fingers out working on the problems. They would have loved to have been able to play against each other. A couple of them got that sense of accomplishment from making their own game. Far more powerful and engaging activity then I had expected. Maybe a great intro to collaboration.
Turtle Art. - I did not like the results I got when people encountered an example first. They tended to start clicking and pull it apart and then it didn't do anything and they were very confused. I feel like I got much better results by pulling out forward, clicking, then right, then coming back and giving hints later. One kid who looked really little totally got it right away. Others had little interest. Other smaller children were very challenged by putting the blocks together, can they "click" more easily and more obviously?
The kid one kid who repeated off the steps of his progam as his turtle moved was so great. I wonder if I can model that and get other kids to do it. I tried using the slow button a few times but I really didn't get the result I expected with it. I need to play with it more.
Desperate need for paint or colors for the younger students. colors is still broken and I didn't find Paint on the activity portal. I tried to use E-toys for paint program but it got into a state with a background fill where the paint brush wasn't painting and I couldn't figure out what to do. I know E-toys is powerful but I'm only ever frustrated when I use it.
Jigsaw was very popular. It did a nice job of adapting to different age levels. If I had had a paint program I think we could have gotten people from jigsaw into creating their own pictures and turning them into puzzles and had more of those wonderful pride of creation moments. Even with the predone puzzles kids wanted some way to show it to their parents or print it out. I want to explore Jigsaw and collaboration and see what it does.
Some kids loved flipsticks some didn't. The kids who loved it told stories about the movies easily and sometimes without prompting. At least one kid asked "What do I do with it when I'm done with it". I'd like to see it exportable and maybe you could put it into write or a turtle art portfolio to add to a story or make a web page like artifact. Not sure what already exists for that.
The slide puzzle is too hard. Is there a way to make it very easy to start?
If I go in again I will try to make more of the computers work with sound.
Speak was very amusing for some of the kids. I'd love to see it in action integrated with Chat. There is talk about a bot builder. It would be cool to create an eliza creator that integrated with chat.
Tam Tam mini is a great win. Is there a way to record in Tam Tam mini? Can you record your voice with the music if you have a mic?
I liked how memorize and jigsaw could start very very easy and then be easily made more challenging and then allowed creation. I definitely saw kids being willing and eager to push their challenge level and to value creation more once they had already played the memorize game.
The "what do I do with it now that I've created it" urge seems like it will feed right into creating portfolios in a longer term setting.
It would be cool if flipsticks and turtle art could create video clips.
It would be cool if memorize could let you have an image as background and as you make matches the blocks would disappear revealing the images. It would be cool if you could use a video clip as the background too.
It would be cool if jigsaw could take a video clip and cut it into pieces have each piece run as you put it together! But that sounds computationally intensive.
If I was teaching teachers I'd love to have a video clip of a kid spontaneously moving from an easy game of memorize, to a bigger one, to playing against someone, to creating and sharing one.
I'd also like a video of a teacher helping a student move from creating a flipstick, telling the teacher the story, then writing the story in write. There are probably other activities like flipstick that could serve as the basis for this. Having kids record their voice might also be an interesting step here. This must be very standard literacy stuff, whats been done so far?
One problem I saw was on the standard keyboard no one discovered how to get to the home screen and most didn't get it after being shown once. The result was they ended up stuck in whatever application you put in front of them.
Another problem was it was too easy to switch apps without closing them and the computers became slow if there were too many running. When you wanted to shut them down it kept asking for journal notes and it was annoying.
The bottom line was kids were dependent on me to switch them from one app to another. Probably if they had a second session they would learn this quickly.
It would be interesting to try going into that sort of visit the comptuer lab situation with a series of challenge cards, probably different ones by ages. Like "Make your Turtle make a triangle" and give kids points/little toys for accomplishing challenges. The whole "Healthy Kids Day" was a carnval setup with booths where you do activities and this is a fairly popular event template for kids events. So we could have a Carnval Booth kit for Sugar designed to engage kids with challenges when they come into the lab for 5 to 15 minutes. Maybe have the kids work in teams. Maybe that is too directive to fit into the constructivist Sugar theme. Maybe that is a good way to use the computer lab during carnval type events in a school where kids are already familar with Sugar so you want to do something cool and different for the Carnval. I think it might be an interesting experiment, but I'd want some experimental results before I decided its actually a good idea.
If I was givng advice to someone else who wanted to do a walk in and try Sugar session I would suggest knowing few activities for little kids and few others for bigger kids. I'd walk them through how a kid might go from easy, to more challenge to creating thier own and collaborating with others. I would warn them that its very hard to judge a kids cognative ability by their size. Sometimes you can tell that a kid is really a toddler but I had less luck with the school aged kids. The one who excelled at Turtle Art, I thought he was too young to even try it. Other times there quite big kids who really wanted to do simple jigsaw puzzles.
Ok there is a rough draft of a report. I need to do another one with a more technical hat on about problems and what can be turned into a bug report and feature requests.
- A back end app that grabs data about the machine and emails it to Sugar Labs. Computer #7 was incredibly slow and died twice, it wasn't the stick being loose the second time either, I really wanted to know what the specs on it are. - No Jabber connection. - No local sharing of activities. -Turtle Art died on machine 9 and froze the computer so i had to reboot. -Colors still doesn't work -Get Paint on the stick