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Re: Invitation to visit Disney Imagineering

On Sun, 1 Aug 1999 13:11:11 -0500, "Ian Bicking" <bickiia@earlham.edu> wrote:
>> As a preliminary to this investigation, let me raise one threshhold
>> question. Are we interested in looking at Squeak as
>>         a. a development platform for cross-OS educational applications (in
>> the style of Java, only, presumably, better)?
>> or
>>         b. a programming environment suitable for teaching programming
>> concepts and technigues to K-12 students (in the style of LOGO, only,
>> presumably, better)?
>> or both?
> a. involves making the system more easily distributed, and 
> probably a bit better to lock down.  The necessary features are 
> already there, I think, but they need this sort of polish.
> b. involves quite a bit of work.  There would have to be some sort of 
> curriculum developement, because OO programming is a long 
> ways from Basic, Logo, or Pascal, and the techniques of teaching 
> with it would probably be a lot different.
> Then there's the middle ground, which is where a HyperStudio-ish 
> program would fit.  It's kind of programming with its active content, 
> but mostly it's about content.  There needs to be a framework for 
> the creation of this content, but it's not a program of itself -- at 
> some level, you're actually programming Squeak when you are 
> making something.  And though Squeak is, in this case, being 
> used as a developement platform, it's also being used by students.
I think a. is something that the Squeak people are diligently working on 
already.  As for b., I suspect that's going to be a niche aspect for Squeak, 
as most teachers below university level are unlikely to try to teach OO 
programming to their students.  Still, it's something to keep in mind as a 
future direction to go.

The middle ground is where I think our efforts should go.  Helping to test and 
if necessary, to design, a simplified user interface to make Squeak useful as 
an authoring tool for education is where our efforts could have the best 
effect.  I notice the Squeak web pages talk about a new interface called 
"Morphic."  Ian, do you know anything about this?

Doug Loss            Always acknowledge a fault.  This will throw
dloss@csrlink.net    those in authority off their guard and give
(570) 326-3987       you the opportunity to commit more.
                        Mark Twain