It’s interesting what draws people to the different activities on the XO. Junior’s into music-editing programs like TamTam Jam (since he’s a real “atis”), James likes TuxMath (not sure if that’s because he likes practicing his addition or if it’s the competitive streak in him), and I’m a big fan of eToys (you can do ANYTHING with it!).
Of course, it doesn’t really matter which ones we like – the point is to get them across to the kids. That’s where things get interesting. There are programs like Paint and Record- they do exactly what their names say, obviously. There are others like TamTam Jam that aren’t hard to learn, especially because the kids can relate to them well – after all, who doesn’t like music? And then there are some that are intriguing, but they’re harder to master, like eToys or Scratch. Plus, programs like Typing Turtle – it’s very useful, but the kids don’t realize that since it’s about practicing instead of creating an actual project. And then things like “Chart” and “Ruler” that are completely foreign and only valuable if you’re used to having to measure things exactly and record your results.
Basically, having the computer with all these tools loaded onto it isn’t enough. There are some things kids can figure out how to use on their own, but many of them need a lot of explanation, and others need to be put into context. That’s why James and I are down here, I guess – to explain to everyone that we learned how to type fast through typing programs so they should use Typing Turtle more, to start teaching eToys to the kids that catch on the quickest, and to challenge the kids to do something new with even old favorites.
Sora and I have been planning intensely today for our adventure tomorrow in Grand-Goave. The students at Mission of Hope will be making a blog together using the activities on the XO laptops. The plan is to combine photos, audio recordings, digital images and written Creole or English to create one blog that all of the kids will be proud of. We can’t wait to work with them.
Intense planning faces.
Afterwards we had a nice evening out in Champ de Mars enjoying the Kanaval Celebration, and of course learning some Haitian dance moves.