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Re: [school-discuss] Contributing to GCompris based on English Phonics from FreeReading.net?

Dear Bruno,

Congratulations on your great progress, and thank you for your patient
response.  I'll have a good look at what you're doing and try out the
latest.   I hope others will do the same.

Best wishes and thanks for the great work you've done and continue to do.

----- Message from Bruno Coudoin <bruno.coudoin@xxxxxxxxxxxx> ---------
   Date: Mon, 13 May 2013 19:34:26 +0200
   From: Bruno Coudoin <bruno.coudoin@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [school-discuss] Contributing to GCompris based on
English Phonics from FreeReading.net?
     To: schoolforge-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     Cc: "David M. Bucknell" <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Le 13. 05. 13 09:34, David M. Bucknell a Ãcrit :
Dear Schoolforge,

Lately, I have been teaching four 8 year old neighbors English with
an old teacher-friend who just keeps getting better, GCompris (J'ai
Compris or "I have understood"), on Ubuntu 12.04 for practice and
rewards.  GCompris is not simple and not just for one age-group,
but I can simply say that it sure gives 8 year olds a fun kick.
They love it!  Tux Typing, Tux Math and Tux Paint are simply
wonderful.  The image games are cool; there's listening and even
braile.  There's incredible variety and depth in this collection
(including chat and a word processor).  Coudos to M. Bruno Coudoin.

Thanks a lot in the name of all our contributors.

Of course, no great work of software is ever done, and, as deep as
it is, and as I'm sure Bruno would say, GCompris could be extended
-- or, a word I use a lot, "gardened."  For example, I noted that
despite having some very useful games for learning to read, it
lacks real teaching of phonics (at least for English).  One of the
problems in filling this gap is that teaching reading well is not
something you know just because you can read yourself.  So, it
would be a large and challenging job to come up with a really
useful system.
You are right and luckily last week I worked on it. If you want to
test it you will have to get the git version.

To get an overview, a set of 12 images (in a list of 1000) is
propose to the children. The voice of the word is spoken:

When the list is all seen the children is proposed an exercice. The
first step of the exercice  is to review the 12 words:

Then to review again the 12 words but without the text in the target area:

Then more complex, with no text at all:

An at last, the children must type the word:

Then, recently, I found freereading.net.  Freereading.net is open
source and has actually been approved for use in the early reading
curriculum of the U.S. state of Florida.  I think this is quite
astounding and exciting!  I think kids need to make their own
cards, not just use the fancy ones made by artists if they're going
to get the sounds into their heads effectively.  But, be that and
other possible objections by teachers as they may, this system is
ready now -- and properly licensed.  It got me wondering whether we
could cook up something based on freereading.net to augment Bruno's
collection.  He's done such a good job getting it included on
distributions and making sure that versions exist for non-Linux
folks that contributing to his project seems like a good way to
ensure that the work would be be exposed widely.

You are right that the difficulty is in the avalability of a good
dataset. In our case, I used the images and voices from the Art4Apps

You can also access this activity online on http://laske.fr/abecedarium/

So, when looking into how to contribute to GCompris, I found an
interview with a young woman who had the skills and smarts to add
more musical activities under the Google Summer of Code's auspices
last year.  It sounds like she was lucky enough to have Bruno as
her mentor.  I thought people on this list would enjoy reading it
and perhaps get inspired.  It bugs me that even a bright computer
studies student wouldn't have heard of Gnome before
This is true that for the last 2 years I had the chance to mentor 4
students. This is a great opportunity to improve GCompris and at the
same time introduce student to FOSS development.

Anyway, I see this as a place where we could involve students in a
project for the benefit of their younger siblings and friends and
which would teach them about coding and working on a free/open
source project.  To me, that's always been the goal of schoolforge.
 Is there someone or some group of people who would act as mentors
for the various parts of such a project?  From the hip, I'd say
that we need a coder, a reading teacher and a project manager at
minimum.   What do you think?  (We can talk about teaching reading
to older students next.)

I appreciate your proposal but to mentor someone working on GCompris
this person needs to have a good knowledge of it. Of course you can
always gather help on our mailing list.


----- End message from Bruno Coudoin <bruno.coudoin@xxxxxxxxxxxx> -----

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