US Governors Strategy

For discussion of xTalk topics related to education.
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TerryL
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US Governors Strategy

Post by TerryL »

STEM education was the topic of the U.S. governors' Winter conference in NYC a few weeks ago. The conference president Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson ( https://www.governor.arkansas.gov/onlin ... ontact-us/ ) was a passionate key-note speaker on the issue. Only Arkansas and two other states require a class in computer science for high school graduation.

An OXT top-down strategy of email/mailing to all U.S. governors could be a productive effort announcing OpenXTalk after a stable release and attractive website focused on education. That could be followed by an OXT bottom-up strategy of similar email/mailing to local school districts or local high school computer science instructors by forum members. If you build it they will come...might not work so passively. Terry
TerryL
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Re: US Governors Strategy

Post by TerryL »

I was thinking something short and to the point.

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Governor X and Education Secretary
RE: OpenXTalk, a free open source coding program for STEM curriculum
OpenXTalk.org has released a coding program focused on education grades 5-12. Based on Apple's Hypercard, it uses a stack-of-cards metaphor with buttons, fields, and other objects that you code in plain English to perform actions. OXT's visual ease of use and low learning curve make it ideal for young minds to explore. We believe it rivals other current coding programs appropriate for this age group.
OpenXTalk includes tutorial instruction, STEM compliant lesson plans, and an online forum ready to assist educators. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. View screen-shots on the website.
Please forward this to your Education Secretary and help us deliver a true coding experience to the students of your state.
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richmond62
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Re: US Governors Strategy

Post by richmond62 »

While that is super, it presupposes that the people on the education committee
actually understand something about the interface between computer programming
and young minds.

A wonderful person said to me the other day, "Why don't we just teach C# to 8 year olds,
I cannot see any obvious problems?" And that person is supposed to be an educational expert.

In my experience very few people on education committees have any empirical experience of
being in a room with a bunch of 8 - 14 year olds, some computers, and a computer language they have
to teach.

1. It is something TOTALLY DIFFERENT from teaching History or Geography.

2. Making that mistake is the same mistake as seeing teaching a foreign language
in the same way.

3. Children will curl up and die (many do, psychologically) if they are not able to
achieve results quite quickly. The MAIN THING about LiveCode, OpenXTalk, DeadCode,
whatever, is that children can get WYSIWYG feedback right now; none of the code-compile-run
delay.
FourthWorld
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Re: US Governors Strategy

Post by FourthWorld »

That's an excellent position statement, TerryL.

The only change I might suggest would be turning "Based on Apple's Hypercard..." to "Inspired by Apple's HyperCard...", to more clearly manage expectations both technically and legally.
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OpenXTalkPaul
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Re: US Governors Strategy

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

FourthWorld wrote: Sat Feb 19, 2022 2:57 pm That's an excellent position statement, TerryL.

The only change I might suggest would be turning "Based on Apple's Hypercard..." to "Inspired by Apple's HyperCard...", to more clearly manage expectations both technically and legally.
I agree, and so as to not give the impression that it's too much the same as or as limited as HC was, or compared to more popular languages such as Python or JavaScript, on the off chance they're familiar with HC from perhaps having a Mac computer as a kid themselves, or if they just google Hypercard.

I'd also maybe compare/contrast it with others targeted towards that age group, such as Squeak, Alice, etc. That's the sort of things they're teaching in > middle schools now in the US.

The main thing is people need to actually build it, because if you can get them interested that's great, but people still need to keep developing the thing or there won't be a thing there, if 'they come'.

On that note, if anyone is interested in building a Linux AppImage of the OXT (OR LCC...and then I can use it as a template for an OXT AppImage) in order to make the IDE more portable (in that it would be far more Linux-Distro Agnostic). I would want most, if not all library dependences bundled into the AppImage. I intend to do this myself, and I'm working on it as time allows, but if someone else wants to give it a go and upload it somewhere, that'd be super great!
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