Teachers and Social Responsibility

There’s some really nice software for teaching game making as a way to teach young students programming and mathematics. Squeak is also the programming environment that serves as Croquet’s foundation. My research is here. But there’s more.

Kay and Papert consider Croquet and Squeak just one part of the two parts necessary to help humanity. They hope that Nicholas Negroponteâ’s $100 laptop effort, which they co-developed with him, will help distribute such learning, discovery, and communication software for youth around the world to use to supplement and improve the students own learning environments. In turn, they hope that these students discoveries and powerful ideas can be self-published by the same interconnected software to be made available to the rest of civilization.

What great news. Bill Kerr joins the Free Software Foundation.

More on Peter Shanks and Training Packages Unpacked

This is straight from Leigh Blackalls blog.

I just got off the phone with Peter Shanks, creator of the Training Packages Unpacked tool. It is a system that reaches into the MSAccess data base of the Australian National Training Information Service NTIS (a place that manages expressions of Australian competency standards or training units for qualification), and pulls it out of the PDFs and RTFS and redisplays the information that teachers and learners need on a web page for us web people to more easily reuse. Then he goes the full 9 yards and makes the newly formatted data available for those of us using wikis, Moodle, html, XML and an assessment spreadsheet. Now its just a simple process of finding the competency unit you are using for learning, teaching or assessment and copy pasting your prefered format into your prefered system. Read more

Download the audio of Peter and Leigh talking about all this today (3.5meg – 30 minutes – ogg file)

Training Packages Unwrapped – Peter Shanks

This is amazing work by Peter Shanks. Visit Training Packages Unwrapped.

Hello, Peter Shanks here. You might remember me from such web sites as ICA05 deconstructed and flicrCC. Come with me now as we explore the hidden world of TPU.

On this site I’ll be looking at how we can present the units of all the NTIS Training Packages in an easy-to-use format, with optional teaching resources such as moodle frameworks and tiddlyWiki’s .

Online Scrabble with Free Libre Software

PyScrabble

Previously we had a look at Pengupop and learning Spanish. This is more on the mark.

I’ve been playing PyScrabble On-line with a few friendly Germans, its a real challenge playing scrabble in a new language but this is a useful way to use games in learning.

So check out PyScrabble its available on windows and the source code is available for non-windows platforms. I installed it on Edubuntu and needed to install python-pygame to get it running.

ICA05 deconstructed

Peter Shanks teaches information technology subjects at Bathurst TAFE NSW. He released a beta version of ICA05 deconstructed on Sourceforge.

The Austrailian ICA05 IT training package – deconstructed from the original PDF and put back into a MySQL database for further tinkering. Currently we support the creation of moodle modules, XML, and tiddlywiki output for individual subjects.

Visit the TAFE ICA05 project page.

Part of his announcement on a mailing list.

I’d like to invite any LAMP developers out there to download and play with the source for the ICA05 web app I announced last week.

If you have time, download the source and see what you think.

Blackboard Patenting Educational Groupware

This is really sad. Here’s the links:

There’s links and comments by bloggers on those pages for you to follow up on.

A while back with the pro teachers we spent some time looking at software idea patents, it doesn’t seem so irrelevant now so here’s some more info.

EdNA Online and GNU/Linux in Australian education news

From EdNA Online News Feed(ICT in Curriculum Recent Items)

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support. “Ubuntu” is an ancient African word, meaning “humanity to others”. The Edubuntu community is built on the ideas enshrined in the Edubuntu Manifesto: that software should be available free of charge, that software tools should be usable by people in their local language and despite any disabilities, and that people should have the freedom to customise and alter their software in whatever way they see fit. These freedoms make Edubuntu fundamentally different from traditional proprietary software: not only are the tools available free of charge, but users have the right to modify software until it works for them the way they want it to work.

From EdNA Online News Feed(Higher Ed Recent Items)

Continue reading EdNA Online and GNU/Linux in Australian education news

Tuxpaint the free drawing program designed for young children demonstration video

I’ve created a screencast of Tux Paint. Its a free drawing program designed for young children. This is easily my best screencast so far.

Continue reading Tuxpaint the free drawing program designed for young children demonstration video

Children First !

On the Squeak general mailing list there was a discussion about Alan Kay’s EuroPython keynote. The thing that really stood out for me was Alan’s comment about children.

Alan Kay | 7 Jul 06:45

“Children First!” means …
… Children First!
(It doesn’t mean Squeak First, or Python or Ruby First.)
Cheers,
Alan

Guido Van Rossum is the creator of Python, one of the major programming languages on and off the web, he blogged about the Alan Kay talk. Learn more about Alan Kay, he’s on the OLPC Advisory board, one of the Croquet architects and more.

Continue reading Children First !