[Edu-sig] "Croquet Project" and Python ?

francois schnell francois.schnell at free.fr
Fri Oct 22 20:18:37 CEST 2004

>Starting with rhetorical platitudes about kids and education with which no
>one could find disagreement  - but never delivering anything in the least
>satisfying to demonstrate some satisfying and explicit connection between
>those platitudes and his own concrete ideas on the use of computers in
Do you use a graphical interface ? (with icons, windows, menus...).
According to computer history Alan Kay had a big role in that and it was 
designed as an educational program for kids.
If you think it's not concrete enough for you, please could you  stop to 
use it and avoid any educationnal project with Tkinter or WxPython for 
example (by the way please avoid to use Ethernet, Laser Printer, Objects 
Programming concepts  since it seems there are  some bits of Mr Kay 
there too).

Did you try E-Toys or  scratch with kids ?
I did and I can tell you it's far from perfect but it seems quite 
concrete to me and I reserve my judgment when I will see how it evolves.

>Perhaps it would be better to base your admiration of Mr. Kay's role in
>education more on what he can demonstrate he is actually achieving, rather
>than on what he writes he is trying to achieve.
Did you try Croquet ?
I'll make a confidence to you, I haven't  had time  to try  it  and 
that's why  I won't judge it.
I don't know yet if it's interesting but for the reasons I explained 
before I see a strong potential there.
Will this potential transform into kinetic energy ? I prefer to say that 
I don't know than to criticize.

I began this thread because I wanted to know if someone knew about the 
Python "possible" side of it (since it's the language I use the most).
I didn't receive any answer to that but your emotional reaction to Kay  
surprised me.
If you put your beliefs aside and google a little you'll see that I'm 
very far away to "admire" Mr Kay but I confess I'm curious.
In France and Europe it's not considered as  a bad thing. We believe the 
understanding of differents cultures and languages is enriching.
We believe everything is not black and white or boolean  and we would 
never say "if you're not with us" then you belong to "the axis of evil".
Contrary to your previous comment, the "hard-fun" concept  comes  from 
Seymoure Papert (not Alan Kay). Should we add him in the axis of evil 
too ? 

Concerning the potential role of computer in education I probably have a 
very different experience than you and it probably doesn't help for our 
mutual  understanding.
Google told me you began programming at 48. I begun at 10 when I was in 
huge scholar difficulties (thank's ZX81). The potential influence of 
computers in education seems  quite concrete  to me even if I wouldn't 
dare to generalize my case (kids learn often in different ways).

I think it's time to finish this thread  here since I fail to understand 
some  of your arguments.  We  both loose our time and spam  this list.
I live you the last word,  please feel free to critic and spread as 
much  "hatred" as you wish, enjoy.

Thank's anyway for the time you spend to answer this thread.
I wish you all the best for your educationnal projects.


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