Yesterday was a day to experiment with Etoys, the tool through which we try to give a great potential to the explosion of creativity in children and adults.
In the midst of a typical summer day in Santa Cruz [34 °C (94 °F)] with a bright sunshine, we began the evening installing Ubuntu on our Pentium IV machines, after experiencing some problems, lack of CD Player’s and other accessories, we finished installing the beginning of what will be our Creative Center. Thus, at the moment we have 4 old computers running Ubuntu and 2 Xo’s.
All last week I was talking with some organizations in Santa Cruz, to complete our Creative Center and expand this experience around the city (other Children Home’s and Schools), i hope to get positive responses this week.
Returning to the Etoys experimentation and willingness to work with tools like this, i found a problem in the Children’s Home last saturday, most of the kids were outside of the town until the start of the school (in February 1). Despite this drawback, some girls who were present were able to explore and play with the Xo and Etoys in particular.
The first reaction was of course the appeal of the Xo, the girls opened and started the Xo with a nice smile on their face. In my opinion, one of the largest potential of the Xo, beyond the wonders that through our imagination we can do, is the appeal of this little green machine, as the appropriation of the tool is concerned.
We started by opening Etoys, observing the things we can do, experiment with examples, losing the fear that schools have created to the new things, and so, we continue our work to begin to break down some barriers.
The most used tools inside Etoys as expected, were the Draw tool and the import of images and photographs, in addition to the Book tool. I showed how we can make our school activities in a different, more fun and creative way, doing what we like to do.
The response was more good than i expected, and little by little i’m sure that we will have more committed and motivated kids with these new tools. This was a little approximation to Etoys, next week is an important week because school starts, and through Etoys we will learn how to perform everyday homework with a different tool, with which we can better assimilate content while enhancing other skills that are very important too.
Next Saturday we will have a workshop with all the kids of the Children’s Home, this workshop is basically about how we can improve the construction of our homework and learning through Etoys and the importance of having a space and a voice over the Internet (Children blogs).