The children got a little taste of what lies ahead. Today, they learned how to turn the netbook on, and saw what the home screen looks like. All of them were able to use the touch pad to move the arrow pointer. About half of them knew what bar to press to “click” and about half of them needed help. They thought of interesting names that match their personalities – Spike, L34, Ron Weezlee, Ruby, Rosey, Jay, Kids, and Ash. They chose their colors. I asked them to locate the words “shutdown” and “restart.” They can all read – most of them are beginning readers but they know enough to figure words out using context and visual cues. One USB stick did not work, so it was good that we had extra sticks as replacement. Towards the end of the session, Crookshanks and Hedwig stopped cooperating. We were glad we had reliable Fluffy to finish the job. Overall it was a good experience. At the end of the day, during dismissal, one student excitedly told her mom that she got to see the “video games” they were going to play with. The mom immediately told me what she said – the mom had the knowing smile on her face. Yes, we have to work on their vocabulary and mindset. I am confident that after the first hands-on session, the children will have some vocabulary down pat.
I think the next lesson will be the blog journal. I would like them to know why it is important that they do so -i.e., to connect and communicate with others in the Sugar Lab community, document their thinking and the process, and practice the communication skills they have been learning. Next week, I would like to have a session on what they think the job of a QA engineer is, and what it entails. I think I would like to film/video record an “interview” with one or two real-life QA engineers in the next few days (during the weekend maybe). Any volunteers out there? I think it is important for me to keep referencing the role they play in this community so that they can begin moving away from the notion that they are “playing video games” and begin thinking of themselves as users and contributors to this community.