Gary Stager writes a short, readable rant about the state of support for exploration in primary education in the US, inspired by watching an episode of “Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show“. The show is a sporadic video blog about “everything cool and worth making” by the daughter (now 10) of a veteran tech ninja.
Stager wonders whether educational computing (and now ‘edtech’) is a proper discipline or “just a shopping club”. He suggests many teachers might not support such a bright and curious student in their class, if it meant dealing with distractions or diverting from a fixed curriculum they were committed to teaching. I suspect others would love such a student and find ways to work with them outside of class, but feel constrained within it. Here’s his post:
Nick writes about his first time as a Maker at Maker Faire, where he showed off some lovely hacks involving XOs and hung out with the Raspberry Pi team, among others. More photos and background on his blog.
A team sponsored by Uruguay’s Universidad de la Republica has developed a simple electronics kit that can be used to modify an XO-1 to let you draw on its screen with a wireless stylus and a thin acrylic sheet, turning it into a touchscreen. Christoph has written more about this and their related robotics work.
The methodology described in their project poster is brief and tantalizing – it looks like a most promising idea. The invention can in theory work with any screen or computer, but here they are showing how it works with an XO. Here is a closeup of a Lapix set in action: