Why I won’t buy an iPad-Maker Manifesto…

Infantalizing hardware

Then there’s the device itself: clearly there’s a lot of thoughtfulness and smarts that went into the design. But there’s also a palpable contempt for the owner. I believe — really believe — in the stirring words of the Maker Manifesto: if you can’t open it, you don’t own it. Screws not glue. The original Apple ][+ came with schematics for the circuit boards, and birthed a generation of hardware and software hackers who upended the world for the better. If you wanted your kid to grow up to be a confident, entrepreneurial, and firmly in the camp that believes that you should forever be rearranging the world to make it better, you bought her an Apple ][+.

But with the iPad, it seems like Apple’s model customer is that same stupid stereotype of a technophobic, timid, scatterbrained mother as appears in a billion renditions of “that’s too complicated for my mom” listen to the pundits extol the virtues of the iPad and time how long it takes for them to explain that here, finally, is something that isn’t too complicated for their poor old mothers.

via Why I won’t buy an iPad and think you shouldn’t, either – Boing Boing. Continue reading

Robot Project-Challenge 1: Knock Over the Towers

Teach Roamer to Knock Over the Towers!
Jon & Dave, two first graders, explore DISTANCE and LIMIT (while learning Roamer’s simple PROGRAMMING SYNTAX) as they conquer the 1st Challenge of the year:
Teach Roamer™ to Knock Over All 3 Towers.
(But Stay in Bounds!)
On their 2nd trial they knock over tower No. 1 using:
CM CM ^6 steps GO!

Math Skills & Concepts in Challenge 1.1: Estimation (distance); Units (Roamer-steps); Number Sense (magnitude, sequence); and more….

Problem-Solving Skills & Concepts: Introduction to Active Problem Solving (teacher gives children learning goals, then gives them the resources, coaching, and free time they need to achieve these goals on their own); Introduction to Scientific Method (write guess; test & learn from results)

Programming Skills & Concepts: Intro to Commands (actions & symbols: CM = Clear Memory; CM CM = Start Over; ^ = forward; GO = Do it!); Syntax Lesson 1 (Word Order: Start Over -> Action -> HowFar/Much/Many? -> Do It!)

Math & Science Olympics!

• Let’s Get Our Kids in the Game!