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Timothy Miller gandalf at doctorTimothyMiller.com
Thu Aug 11 21:44:16 EDT 2011


Maybe interactive tutorial or flash-card type projects that will help your students succeed in their other subjects.

When my kids were grades 1-2-3 I used hypercard to write a number of really cool phonics instruction stacks. Kept adding features. Text-to-speech. Rhyming. English-like phonics combinations that aren't really English words. Keeping track of difficulty and success, identifying which items have been learned to criterion, which ones need more practice.

It's easy enough to do the same sort of thing with math facts, vocabulary, chemistry, or whatever.

The basics for this kind of stack are pretty easy. Because LC is object-oriented, it's easy and fun for the more capable students to attempt new and creative features. They learn nothing bad happens if they click on a button that has a bad script in it. You can start with really basic functionality and gradually add features, in accordance with criterion 4, below.

Similar projects might include interactive personal journal or diary projects. Many possibilities for organizing creative writing, if some of your students are into that.

How about a "bucket list" stack. I.e., keeping track of the things I want to do before I die, and how to make them happen.

The usual hyperCard tutorial stacks included address books, index your CDs (now DVDs or MP3s). These were good learning experiences that could produce truly useful stacks.

Tim



On Aug 11, 2011, at 3:01 PM, Judy Perry wrote:

> I have a vague notion of a hands-on assignment for my classes next term involving having them use the 30-day demo and making something semi-interesting (to them) in LC.
> 
> Apparently I did a really sucky job of articulating this to the first person I asked, so, here I try, try again, this time including my necessary caveats and reasons why:
> 
> If you had a month, meaning, 4 long sessions or 8 shorter sessions, to get an absolute Joe Public to make something small but semi-interesting in LC, i.e., something they couldn't do in PowerPoint, what are the top 5 things you'd want them to learn about programming?
> 
> I mean, I'm guessing it's something like IDE, Stack-Card metaphor, commands, functions, conditionals, variables...  but I'm looking for those categories along with some specific examples per my caveats below.
> 
> CAVEATS:
> 
> 1.  This is a General Education class meaning students either have to take this "Computers and Society" course or some biology course involving dissection.  This means they don't particularly want to take this class but it strikes them as less gross than dissecting worms or heaven know what.  But, seriously:  nobody really wants to be there.
> 
> 2.  #1 above means that student engagement is a MUST.  The point of the assignment is NOT to make them hate using computers.  #1 also means that some of them barely know how to do attachments with email.  It also means that some of them are downright computer-phobic.
> 
> 3.  No "Hello World."  Sorry, but "Hello World" is a distinct historical and cultural artifact to which this audience simply will not relate.  One of the rules of interactive system design is that using a computer to do something should always offer some seriously compelling reason to do it that way as opposed to the way they know, and writing three lines of script to put "Hello World" into a text field isn't likely to sound more compelling that simply typing it in the field themselves.  The point of the assignment is NOT to turn them into programmers but to help them appreciate some of the things that go into the applications they use everyday and some of the things those programmers have to contend with/know.
> 
> 4.  Each step or lesson along the way needs to result in something that is engaging to the learner.  Current adult learning theory is that adults need, yupp, instant gratification, or at least be able to see that they are getting somewhere.
> 
> 5.  No standalone production (I don't want to have to guess at what they didn't do correctly).  We may do revlets though.
> 
> Ideas, suggestions gratefully accepted; otherwise, I'll just wing it like I usually do.  ;-)
> 
> Judy




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