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abishur
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:20 pm

Quote from Plant on November 18, 2011, 09:26
My lad now wants to be a hacker like every crime fighting team has on the telly.

This is the most secure system in the world, it will take me a minute to get in.

Clickity clackity, click.

Okay I'm in!

lol, tv hackers.

(See also, "It's a Unix system, I know this" )
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

barnaby
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:48 pm

(See also, "It's a Unix system, I know this" )

He he he he — I love over dramatic movie computer moments.

clivef
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:04 pm

Quote from obarthelemy on November 18, 2011, 11:00
More than boobs, bullying and stalking, what my brother is complaining about is that the more time his 6yo son spends in front of a screen (TV or PC), the more hyper he becomes. He's instituted "no-screen" every other day, and reports that no-screen days = small arguments about tomorrow being a much better day for no-screen, just this once ? ; screen day = bigger arguments about anything and everything, and harder time finding sleep.
YMMV with different kids, maybe ? I have just the one in the study :-pIt's not the sample of one that's the problem: it's choosing the treatment and then commenting on the efficacy of it which is the big no no. But then you can't really do a randomised controlled trial yourself unless you have a really, really big family ;)

To me it's about balance. My five year old will spend as long as he can on the Xbox (occasional playing but mainly designing his own levels in Trials HD and N+.) But he also draws and reads and builds Lego and plays sport etc etc. And I am the adult and I control what he does in his day. If I found that "screen time" made my son hyper and argumentative and disturbed his sleep then he wouldn't be doing it at all. It certainly wouldn't be rationed by half - one day good and one day bad. Why would I allow him to do something that clearly messed him up? :?

clivef
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:17 pm

Quote from Plant on November 18, 2011, 09:26...We wondered if there are any "hacking" games for kids to play offline?A classic!

clivef
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:22 pm

Quote from abishur on November 18, 2011, 15:20
This is the most secure system in the world, it will take me a minute to get in.

Clickity clackity, click.See alos TV Tropes . And the 'clickity clackity' sounds like rapid fire typing :D

Lakes
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:20 pm

And the part where they zoom in on a picture and all the pixels are magically converted to a high res version! :)

tufty
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:21 pm

Quote from Plant on November 18, 2011, 09:26
We wondered if there are any "hacking" games for kids to play offline?
Uplink as well as the aformentioned C64 classic, Hacker.
Quote from obarthelemy on November 18, 2011, 11:00
the more time his 6yo son spends in front of a screen (TV or PC), the more hyper he becomes
I concur with Clive. I'd suggest either a total TV shutdown (which pretty much means removing the TV from the environment entirely, and probably physically) or putting in place a choice of one/two TV programs that are permitted, and a total ban the rest of the time.

Personally, I'd favour the first choice (and with the Christmas advertising blitz already upon us, it might reduce some of the wantwantwantwant as well). I don't like TV much, though, and spend much of my time turning the frickin' thing off.

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winkleink
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:54 pm

I came across this today on G+

http://firesinthemind.org/
Fires in the Mind came about from a nationwide collaboration among youth and adults to investigate the question 'What does it take to get really good at something?'

Discusses Project based learning.
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Josh
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:56 pm

Quote from winkleink on November 21, 2011, 12:54
I came across this today on G+

http://firesinthemind.org/
Fires in the Mind came about from a nationwide collaboration among youth and adults to investigate the question 'What does it take to get really good at something?'

Discusses Project based learning.

Hmmm, maybe we'll see someone making something with the Pi on there one day...

djs47
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:04 pm

What do the educationalists say about getting kids excited? They must see large numbers of kids and have the knowledge, experience and gut feeling as to what works.

obarthelemy
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:47 pm

No need to be an educationalist to know you don't want kids excited, you want them to quieten down, or else !
I think, as for everyone, the key is to set expectations, frequently achieve something rewarding, and take breaks. A bit of cognitive dissonance, but not too much :-p

Plant
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:23 pm

One way to get younger kids excited is to programme the pi to physically control something. You can do this with lego. They do something called WeDo which works with scratch and is much cheaper than mindstorms. If you source the bits separately from rapid electronics or similar, for about £50 you get a tilt sensor, distance sensor, a USB hub and a motor. This is enough to build simple machines and robots controlled by scratch. Link is http://info.scratch.mit.edu/WeDo

I will post a video of a sorting machine we built if I can remember my youtube login. The proper educational pack costs much more and comes with lego software but it works fine with scratch which is free. Don't know if it will work on the Pi but scratch does apparently, so it could!

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scep
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:32 pm

Quote from djs47 on November 23, 2011, 15:04
What do the educationalists say about getting kids excited? They must see large numbers of kids and have the knowledge, experience and gut feeling as to what works.Getting kids excited is trivial. Getting them to understand and learn is somewhat harder. Doing this whilst getting them to meet the targets required by the school, parents and the Government is very, very difficult and demanding. We call it "teaching" ;)

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glenn66
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:48 pm

If the RPi will let them play Angry Birds, they'll get excited by it.

I'm an educationalist (that sounds too much like mentalist for my liking) and the problem today is that very little seems to fire young people's imaginations the way they would have been 30 years ago when the ZX80 first appeared. Don't get me wrong, that isn't a sweeping generalisation and there are plenty of pockets of interest and worthwhile projects, but there has been a significant change in western society over the last 30 years which has a lot to do with the exponential advances in and cheap availability of technology (15 years ago how many people owned a home PC?).

Young people in the west have increasingly become consumers and expect to be spoon-fed everything that they need to know as well as being convinced of the value of each skill or piece of knowledge. There is a strong element of the desire for instant gratification in there as well.

It would be naive to think that young people will get excited by something that looks like a circuit board unless they are shown something early on that the RPi can do that is demonstrably cool.

I'd go for some sort of robotics with younger children (more like BeeBot and less like Mindstorms) and digital clothing with the teenagers (yes, you read that correctly 'clothing!')

tufty
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:31 am

Quote from glenn66 on November 29, 2011, 23:48
Young people in the west have increasingly become consumers and expect to be spoon-fed everything that they need to know as well as being convinced of the value of each skill or piece of knowledge. There is a strong element of the desire for instant gratification in there as well.
The desire for instant gratification is, I suspect, universal. I know I still have it, and I'm a little beyond teenaged :)

The consumerisation of kids is worrying (certainly to a parent), and, I suspect, a data point on a curve starting in the post-war boom in the mid-50s / early '60s and getting steeper and steeper as time goes on. The accelerating factor for this curve, I might add, is probably television.

Part of the problem for educators is convincing kids that computers are made for creating, not consuming. I've been working on this with my kids by livecoding dubstep...

I like the idea of digital clothing. What did you have in mind?

It would be naive to think that young people will get excited by something that looks like a circuit board unless they are shown something early on that the RPi can do that is demonstrably cool.
Music, video, video effects, games. I'd argue that games are potentially less of a hook now - in the '80s you might manage to make a game that was close to "arcade quality" (and certainly better than "pong"), but there's no way you're gonna make something like the current console games nowadays.

obarthelemy
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:14 am

I wouldn't shoot down games as a teaching medium, even the silly little ones beginners can make:
- first, there's pride in building something, anything.
- second, games are fairly self-contained. Other subjects (OS tools, text editors, maths graphers, even astronomy tools ?) all kinda imply something else happening outside of the actual program
- games are demo-able to others, so you can show off your mad skillz
- games don't have to be otherworldly complicated, or madly asset-heavy, to be fun. I'm old and all, but the game I play the most on my Android phone is a card game I used to play during lunch break when I was 12 (belote coinchée, a very lazy man's bridge ^^). And then with colleagues at my first job. And then with friends and pizza at 30... My nephew plays chess surprisingly competently (thinks 1-2 moves ahead), and while playing vs the computer does not seem to catch his fancy, I think making a chess program would. Especially with spiffy animations. In the "recent games" category, you don't want to try and remake Skyrim, but (Angry Birds) Rampaging Cats looks doable.

liamfraser280
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:19 am

Quote from glenn66 on November 29, 2011, 23:48
If the RPi will let them play Angry Birds, they'll get excited by it.


Maybe that could be possible! http://techchai.com/2011/04/13.....-on-linux/

I actually agree 100% with what you just said. Sadly the actual angry birds is only for windows and needs wine. The one I showed above is a very similar game (called Angry Animals) that uses flash, but at least that would work as opposed to using wine!

kiaas
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:33 am

Quote from liamfraser280 on November 30, 2011, 09:19
Quote from glenn66 on November 29, 2011, 23:48
If the RPi will let them play Angry Birds, they'll get excited by it.


Maybe that could be possible! http://techchai.com/2011/04/13.....-on-linux/

I actually agree 100% with what you just said. Sadly the actual angry birds is only for windows and needs wine. The one I showed above is a very similar game (called Angry Animals) that uses flash, but at least that would work as opposed to using wine!
Maybe. depends on if they can release flash for the r.pi or not, as adobe isn't exactly friendly, or intending on keeping flash around anymore. Gnash is also slow, and not sure about lightspark...

liamfraser280
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:46 am

We'll have to see but I think I've read that they have flash working, but not hardware accellerated yet. I'm not sure if thats with gnash or something else.

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abishur
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:56 pm

I believe it is unlikely we'll see flash using the hardware acceleration features of the GPU. For one thing, flash is on it's way out the door, so it seems like a waste of the r-pi team's time to work on getting an EoL feature working. Also, I *believe* I remember hearing that adobe charges a fee per unit to take advantage of the hardware acceleration in the GPU. There's a flash thread around here. Do a quick forum search to get more information.
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liamfraser280
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:13 pm

Ahh okay abishur, maybe it's time to start a new programming project. Angry Pis :D

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glenn66
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:56 pm

Quote from tufty on November 30, 2011, 08:31
I'd argue that games are potentially less of a hook now - in the '80s you might manage to make a game that was close to "arcade quality" (and certainly better than "pong"), but there's no way you're gonna make something like the current console games nowadays.

I'm not sure. I teach GameMaker to teachers and sometimes trainee teachers and I use Pong and Breakout as basic concepts and everyone seems to get very excited playing 'TV Squash' if they have written it for themselves. I haven't been lucky enough to try GameMaker with kids, but my daughter is 12 and I want to introduce her to it this year and see how that works.

I agree about the influence of TV over the last 50 years. As a child of the TV generation (Swap Shop and TISWAS) I can vouch for the debilitating effects of the 'glass teat!'

Digital clothing... I have canabalised hundreds of busted electronic items over the last 10 years and have a biscuit tin full to the brim with LEDs and I'd love to fit them all to a hi-viz vest and get a mad late 80s rave-type thing going on. I'll get my coat...

(M5450 chip is a good starting point for simple LED control by the way)

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glenn66
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:58 pm

Quote from obarthelemy on November 30, 2011, 09:14
I wouldn't shoot down games as a teaching medium

Or even shoot-em-up? :D

Fair point and I agree entirely - see previous post re: GameMaker.

Chas
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:35 am

I think the idea of getting kids excited is not about having a computer that they can tinker with.  It seems to me that the Raspberry is comparable to a good Pentium 3, with a good video card.  Around here people throw out a lot better computers. So why not just pick up old computers that were being thrown out on the curb, for the students?  What I think they will find exciting is that this computer is about the size of a microcontroller, that it can be embedded into something and that they can make a program to be controlling it.

I am suggesting getting some cheap RC cars, remove the transmitter and receiver and embed the Raspberry into it. It should be easy to wire the servos to the outputs on the Raspberry.  Even if you only get a half dozen for the classroom and then install cheap webcams to them it may cost about an extra $150 to $200 a classroom.  Now you have opened up all kinds of possibilities for their imagination to run wild with.  You can then run programs for these cars to play 'hide and seek', 'tag', 'keep away', 'follow the leader' or just about any other game that they might think of.  You can even have them competing and running a race course.

I realize that the programming for that is going to take a lot more than what the kids would think possible.  That is were programmers here could make the initial programs for the students to download.  The students would then be eager to learn about programming, as the start tweaking their copy of the program to get a little better strategy to compete against the others and against themselves as they try and try and try to perfect THEIR own program.  They will be learning.  They will be asking questions.  They will be learning from each other and on their own.  They will be excited.

Bootsy
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Re: Getting Kids Excited...

Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:20 am

"I made this"

It has a better hook than "I own this".

My children have always played more with a cardboard box dollhouse or fort that they made themselves than they did with shop bought ones.

Give children the building blocks and a bit of guidance, the excitement will follow naturally.

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