Stager salutes Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show

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:

Super-Awesome Sylvia in the Not So Awesome Land of Schooling

Hat-tip to Juliano Bittencourt.

How to use a stylus with your XO

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:

Lapix hooked up to an XO, being used with inkscape
Lapix in action

 

Check out the photo and transcription of the project poster after the jump.
Continue reading How to use a stylus with your XO