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Re: squeak (was: [seul-edu] It's quiet--_too_ quiet.)

On Fri, Oct 15, 1999 at 11:36:14AM -0700, Ray Olszewski wrote:
> >   Lastly, Ray, how is your investigation of Squeak going?  As I recall,
> >someone else was looking at it too (Ian?).  Let's hear some opinions of
> >it and some discussion on how it might need to be changed to be of use
> >to us.
> More slowly than I'm happy to admit. I didn't know someone else was looking
> at it, and I'd be pleased to hear from him. 

I haven't been looking at it much lately, but I used Squeak quite a bit in the 
past.  I *haven't* used morphic much, and I haven't approached Squeak from the
authoring perspective.  I haven't used it at all in any sort of educational
setting.  If there's anything in particular I might be able to help with... a 
list of places Squeak is lacking (for authoring)?

> I'd also like to renew my
> request ... which up until now has generated NO responses ... that anyone
> who is actually using Squeak or a similar product in a teaching setting tell
> me what he or she is using it for, how it might be improved, etc. 

It might be that no one is using Squeak like this.  In fact, with the possible
exception of a few experimental schools that the Squeak team may have contacted
(I have no idea if they've done this or not) -- I don't think anyone is using
Squeak in anything less than undergraduate education.

I have used HyperStudio a little bit, but I'm really pretty naive about it and 
its actual uses.  I'd really suggest, of all the other programs to look at, 
that HyperStudio is the most important.  It's nothing all that fancy -- in 
fact, there's a lot of ways in which it is kind of lame -- but it's popular.  
The demo stacks that come with HyperStudio are actually pretty decent, 
representative of what a real student might do with it.

There are also teachers that make their own material with HyperStudio.  I
haven't actually seen any of these, really, but I know teachers will burn
a dozen CDs that include their stack and a HyperStudio player, and then
distribute them among friends and such.

As I said -- I haven't used HyperStudio a lot myself, but I've payed attention
to where it is used by others.  So I might be able to give some second-hand
knowledge... do you have particular questions?

Letting teachers use their HyperStudio knowledge in Squeak could be really
important.  In a lot of ways, one of the more important thing you should 
grill the Squeak team about is their pragmatic side -- how do they expect
to actually get Squeak into real schools?  Does Disney have a part in this?
(what part does Disney have in it all anyway?)  Have they considered marketing
and packaging?  How will they attract all the teachers who are intimidated by
new technology, and only learned HyperStudio with great reluctance?

< Ian Bicking                 |  bickiia@earlham.edu                >
< drawer #419 Earlham College |  http://www.cs.earlham.edu/~bickiia >
< Richmond, IN 47374          |  (765) 973-2824                     >