The Missing Link between LiveCode and Teachers

Alejandro Tejada capellan2000 at
Thu Apr 17 16:09:59 EDT 2014

Richard Gaskin wrote:

Richard Gaskin wrote
> I recently corresponded with Dr. Robert Horn, whose book "Mapping 
> Hypertext" was one of my favorites back when it was first published in 
> '89.  The problems designers were facing back then were very new, and 
> Horn's richly-illustrated book covered the cognitive and technical 
> aspects of creating navigable hypermedia.

Richard, many thanks for pointing to this book. The author still receives
raves reviews
25 years after publishing his outstanding work:

Richard Gaskin wrote
> When I first started Fourth World my company description was "Hypermedia 
> Development Tools". Around the turn of the century I changed the 
> description, because even by 2000 the word "hypermedia" was sounding
> dated.
> Today hypermedia is alive and well, bigger than ever really, just under 
> a different name: the Web.
> In the 25 years since Horn's book so much has happened.  Decades of 
> familiarity with hyperspace, first in HyperCard, then in other xTalks, 
> then in the Web, has made most folks using computers today almost 
> uncannily comfortable with mentally mapping non-linear hyperlinked media.

The big problem is: for most teachers and schools, creating and maintaining
a webpage (or a complete website) is many times more difficult than
creating and distributing stacks among students.

Possibly, Mark Greenberg could confirm this fact: 

I tried to entice teachers to create a single stack to help
their students to learn the most difficult topic in their classes.
Just a single stack to teach one topic, but teachers wanted
to be compensated for creating this teaching aid for their classes
and their students... How do you compensate a teacher for this?

Richard Gaskin wrote
> I do think you're onto something important.  My only reluctance is to 
> use the word "hypermedia" in any contemporary context, as it's a lot 
> like trying to discuss water with fish - they have no concept of what it 
> is as distinct from anything else because they're so familiar with it.
> Education, or more broadly, knowledge transfer, is the key to a better 
> future, not just for the learner but for the economy and even 
> civilization as a whole.
> The power of computing to assist mental tasks, along with the global 
> interconnectedness computers are so adept at helping people do these 
> days, offer nearly unlimited potential to improve knowledge transfer 
> beyond anything previously conceivable.

Yes, I agree. But it's a fact that in most places (not all places),
people just repeat what have been done previously. And this repetition
is (frecuently) of lesser quality than previous accomplishments.

Many of us, in the place where each lives, have visited schools that years
have been the best in their district, applying the technology in the
Today, these same schools have fallen in routines that do not
allow them to keep with the pace of new opportunities opened
by new (and cheaper) technologies.

Richard Gaskin wrote
> And of course as a LiveCode fanboy, it seems to me that having a 
> programming language that makes true ownership of both local and global 
> computing accessible to anyone with a few weeks' time to invest in 
> learning it has the potential to be a major catalyst as this 
> still-nascent Internet Era unfolds.
> When LC had their Kickstarter last year I reached out to pretty much 
> everyone I knew from the old "hypermedia" days, and even a few I'd only 
> heard of.  At this point they're either using LC, considering it, or are 
> invested in something else.
> I think the biggest potential for helping the world realize the role 
> LiveCode can play in knowledge transfer today is to look in the opposite 
> direction:  the next generation.

When I contacted the authors of some of the articles and publications
that I found in EBSCO, asking for the original software named in
their paper, they send me a HyperCard stack... without the
resource fork. Every Mac user knows what this means. :(

For this reason, I think that it is a good idea to write them
and ask if they want to try LiveCode. Next time, when they
receive a request about the software named in their articles,
they could send a LiveCode stack, instead of a damaged
HyperCard stack...

Richard Gaskin wrote
> As one example of a powerful intersection of interests coming together 
> well, check out this thread in the forums:
> <>
> The Raspberry Pi is helping young people all over the world understand 
> that computing isn't some rarefied special thing other people make and 
> we merely use, but instead computing is cheap, ubiquitous, and something 
> we all can make.  The 21st century isn't about users, it belongs to
> makers.
> In that thread Hermann has been posting a series of stacks designed 
> specifically to run on the Pi build of LiveCode.  Beautiful work, 
> thoughtfully crafted.
> And that's just one small corner of a world of possibilities.

This is great! Many Thanks for posting this link. :D

Richard Gaskin wrote
> I hope we can see a group of community members who have an interest in 
> using LiveCode in educational contexts come together to identify goals 
> and the tools needed to satisfy those goals, and then set about making 
> them and sharing them with the world under an open source license so 
> everyone on the planet can help enhance and proliferate them.
> Maybe you'd like to help with that effort?  If so drop me a note - we 
> have the forums, many servers, and a free and open LiveCode Community 
> Edition at our disposal.  Everything is possible.

Yes, I want to help in this specific area. I will send you some ideas.

Did you have an specific email as Community Manager 
or send email to Fourth World?

Have a nice week!


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