All of the children were anxiously waiting in the gated courtyard when we pulled up to the school. We greeted them and their exuberance for a few moments until Marcial arrived and unlocked the classroom. Once inside they quickly scrambled to their desks eager to claim their computer for the second time. Without prompting or need for instruction they powered up and were ready to begin etoys lesson 1. For a better view of Carolyn’s screen they moved their desks to form semi-circles radiating out from her and dove into the lesson. Once again the number of mentors facilitated the children’s ability to navigated and follow the concepts and steps being presented. A few of the children just took off with it.

German easily created a lake scene with a sailboat and sun. After listening to the concept of having separate “sketches” he immediately set about making a new sailboat sketch, kept it, a new sun and a separate lake. He had grasped that now he could manually move his boat across the water or his sun across the sky. We found this to be stunning as it truly illustrated the ‘child intuitive’ nature of etoys in an environment where it was intended to be implemented – one with no previous exposure or training. This is very exciting.

All of the children completed the lesson often helping each other in the process. At the end of the lesson the children were allowed the opportunity to stay for another hour with Daniel and Jonathan available as mentors to further explore their computers. Every child opted to stay.

The teacher training was again held outside and was fairly well grasped. Bill covered lessons 4 through 6 and at times individuals got a bit stuck or confused working with the numerous windows from halos to scripts, remembering to keep a sketch, having to go back and rotate a sketch after running a script and just the newness of it all. Here emphasizing keeping the sketches simple and experimenting with changing parameters, repetition and exploring rather than having a fancy drawing is useful.

The teachers grasped that this is going to be a challenge and one that they will have to put effort into and also recognized that some of the children may out shine them. So far it seems they can accept the humility of that.

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