Smalltalk for Kids 
Author Message
 Smalltalk for Kids

We are told that Smalltalk was so named because it was seen to be easy
for children to learn or to teach children.  Was this ever followed
through?  In other words, does anyone know of childrens' book(s) or
other media that actually tackled this?  Has anyone any information at
all teaching Smalltalk to kids; what age could kids reasonably expected
to start to grasp this stuff.  Any and all information would be
gratefully received.

Thank you  (but NOT in advance!).
--
Nigel D. Scott, Alberta, Canada,

"Most people would succeed in small things
    if they were not troubled with great ambitions" Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids


Quote:
>We are told that Smalltalk was so named because it was seen to be easy
>for children to learn or to teach children.  Was this ever followed
>through?  In other words, does anyone know of childrens' book(s) or
>other media that actually tackled this?  Has anyone any information at
>all teaching Smalltalk to kids; what age could kids reasonably expected
>to start to grasp this stuff.  Any and all information would be
>gratefully received.

There was some work with Smalltalk-72 (and maybe Smalltalk-76) and
children, but the children were children of XEROX PARC researchers and
probably had IQs over 150.

If you have a real need to know, like you are working on a project or
thesis or something, then I'd suggest making contact with Dan Ingalls,
Adele Goldberg, and Alan Kay (all former PARC Smalltalkers) at least some
of whom still have a strong interest in the subject.

There have been neat systems written IN Smalltalk for kids or teachers,
especially Laura Gould's 'Rehearsal World' system from the early 80's.
She also was at PARC.

Not Smalltalk, but neat and for kids: look at Cocoa on Apple's web site.
It is a visual language for kids that is really neat. It's oriented
towards writing games and simulations and finished applications can run
in a web browser. Better look quick because the project was killed this
spring and the code times out some time this summer.

I'm not a kid anymore, and not a novice programmer, so my personal
experiences are not too relevant, but I found Cocoa to be ultra easy and
intuitive and I wrote a maze solving game in just a few hours. I suspect
that kids (like 10 and up) would find it compelling.

Dave

_____________________________________________
David N. Smith
IBM T J Watson Research Center, Hawthorne, NY

Home Page: http://www.dnsmith.com/
_____________________________________________
Any opinions or recommendations are those
of the author and not of his employer.



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids


: We are told that Smalltalk was so named because it was seen to be easy
: for children to learn or to teach children.  Was this ever followed
: through?  In other words, does anyone know of childrens' book(s) or
: other media that actually tackled this?  Has anyone any information at
: all teaching Smalltalk to kids; what age could kids reasonably expected
: to start to grasp this stuff.  Any and all information would be
: gratefully received.

: Thank you  (but NOT in advance!).
: --

Is Samlltalk actually intended for children?  I know they had a subset of
Smalltalk (I think called turtle) that was an intro to programming for children
where they got a turtle object that would accept a few messages.  Children
could write small "programs" to have the turtle draw things.  I know here
in Minneapolis there is a mechanical turtle at the Science or Childrens
Mueseum that can be programed to go places using the same smalltalk subset.



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids


: : We are told that Smalltalk was so named because it was seen to be easy
: : for children to learn or to teach children.  Was this ever followed
: : through?
: Is Samlltalk actually intended for children?  I know they had a subset of
: Smalltalk (I think called turtle) that was an intro to programming for children
: where they got a turtle object that would accept a few messages.  Children
: could write small "programs" to have the turtle draw things.  I know here
: in Minneapolis there is a mechanical turtle at the Science or Childrens
: Mueseum that can be programed to go places using the same smalltalk subset.

I think "tmeadows" has "Logo" in mind, although both Smalltalk and
Logo were designed with children in mind.  Xerox PARC has published
some tech. reports on how children did with Smalltalk.  An example is
"Teaching Smalltalk, SSL 77-2 June 1977" by Alan Kay and Adele
Goldberg.

Alan Kay continue[s|d] his research at Apple (is he still there?).

Danny Kumamoto


Postal: 13492 Research Blvd., Suite 120-295, Austin, TX 78750-2254, U.S.A.



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids



Quote:

> : We are told that Smalltalk was so named because it was seen to be easy
> : for children to learn or to teach children.  Was this ever followed
> : through?  In other words, does anyone know of childrens' book(s) or
> : other media that actually tackled this?  Has anyone any information at
> : all teaching Smalltalk to kids; what age could kids reasonably expected
> : to start to grasp this stuff.  Any and all information would be
> : gratefully received.

> : Thank you  (but NOT in advance!).
> : --

> Is Samlltalk actually intended for children?  I know they had a subset of
> Smalltalk (I think called turtle) that was an intro to programming for
children
> where they got a turtle object that would accept a few messages.
Children
> could write small "programs" to have the turtle draw things.  I know here
> in Minneapolis there is a mechanical turtle at the Science or Childrens
> Mueseum that can be programed to go places using the same smalltalk
subset.

The "turtle graphics"  language was actually called "logo", and is
available for download from somewhere. Try

http://www.ccil.org/retro/retromuseum.html

Darko Bojanic                  

Software Designer                       Tel.    (604) 293-5184
MPR Extensys Inc.                       Fax     (604) 293-5787

Burnaby, BC, V5A 4B5
Canada



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids


Quote:
> There have been neat systems written IN Smalltalk for kids or teachers,
> especially Laura Gould's 'Rehearsal World' system from the early 80's.
> She also was at PARC.

We musn't forget Randy Smith's physical world simulation, the Alternative
Reality Kit, written in an early version of PS (2.3, I think) for
teaching physics concepts.  Anyone who's seen his demo video won't ever
forget it.  (Try building that in any other language!)

Ian



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids


: We are told that Smalltalk was so named because it was seen to be easy
: for children to learn or to teach children.  Was this ever followed
: through?  In other words, does anyone know of childrens' book(s) or
: other media that actually tackled this?  Has anyone any information at
: all teaching Smalltalk to kids; what age could kids reasonably expected
: to start to grasp this stuff.  Any and all information would be
: gratefully received.

I seem to recall that one grand ambition of Smalltalk was indeed for it to
be easy for children to learn. Alan Kay has an enduring interest in
children and the way they learn (I remember an article in Scientific
American authored by Kay). These people were trying to bring computing to
the masses).  I think they introduced children to a flavor of Smalltalk
constructed to ease them into the concepts by using turtle graphics
(similar to LOGO).  Some of the kids attained a strong enough capability
so as to develop some complex software.  I'm in no position to know if the
Learning Research Group accomplished what they set out to do.

Have a few words Dan Ingalls?? ;)

Carl
--
------------------------------------------------------------------

 author of Liberty BASIC, a 1996 PC Magazine Awards Finalist!
 http://world.std.com/~carlg/basic.html



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids


Quote:
>I seem to recall that one grand ambition of Smalltalk was indeed for it to
>be easy for children to learn. Alan Kay has an enduring interest in
>children and the way they learn (I remember an article in Scientific
>American authored by Kay).

'Microelectronics and the Personal Computer', by A.C. Kay, 1977,
Scientific American

-------------------
David



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids

Quote:
> Alan Kay continue[s|d] his research at Apple (is he still there?).

No.  He is now at Disney Imagineering (so is Dan Ingalls)

-- Mike Klein
--

http://www.alumni.caltech.edu/~mklein



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids

Quote:
> I seem to recall that one grand ambition of Smalltalk was indeed for it to
> be easy for children to learn.

Children of all ages  ;-)

For the answers to most questions posed in this thread, a great read is:

        "The Early History of Smalltalk" -- by Alan Kay
        In the HOPL-II Conference proceedings
        ACM SIGPLAN Notices Volume 28 # 3

Actually it's a great paper to read in general.

-- Mike Klein

--

http://www.alumni.caltech.edu/~mklein



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids


: >I seem to recall that one grand ambition of Smalltalk was indeed for it to
: >be easy for children to learn. Alan Kay has an enduring interest in
: >children and the way they learn (I remember an article in Scientific
: >American authored by Kay).

: 'Microelectronics and the Personal Computer', by A.C. Kay, 1977,
: Scientific American

No, I mean a much newer article written specifically on computers,
children and learning... ah, there it is (gotta love AltaVista)!  :-)

Alan C. Kay, "Computers, Networks, and Education," Scientific American,
September 1991

Carl
--
------------------------------------------------------------------

 author of Liberty BASIC, a 1996 PC Magazine Awards Finalist!
 http://world.std.com/~carlg/basic.html



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids

Quote:

> We are told that Smalltalk was so named because it was seen to be easy
> for children to learn or to teach children.  

=== clip

Nigel:

Alan Kay and a number of other PARC alumni worked for years on a variant
of Smalltalk, specifically designed for very young children.  It was
called Playground, and was developed as part of the Vivarium project (an
Apple-funded project for children at The New School in LA).  You might
want to try to find Alan Kay to get more information about it - I don't
know what they ended up doing with the project after Apple's funding
ended.

...dan



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids


Quote:

>For the answers to most questions posed in this thread, a great read is:

>    "The Early History of Smalltalk" -- by Alan Kay
>    In the HOPL-II Conference proceedings
>    ACM SIGPLAN Notices Volume 28 # 3

>Actually it's a great paper to read in general.

The proceedings are also available as a book, "History of Programming
Language", from ACM Press/Addison-Wesley, with updates from the
proceedings. It is generally available in good computer book stores
(including the online ones). Highly recommended.

Dave

_____________________________________________
David N. Smith
IBM T J Watson Research Center, Hawthorne, NY

Home Page: http://www.dnsmith.com/
_____________________________________________
Any opinions or recommendations are those
of the author and not of his employer.



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids


Quote:

> > There have been neat systems written IN Smalltalk for kids or teachers,
> > especially Laura Gould's 'Rehearsal World' system from the early 80's.
> > She also was at PARC.

> We musn't forget Randy Smith's physical world simulation, the Alternative
> Reality Kit, written in an early version of PS (2.3, I think) for
> teaching physics concepts.  Anyone who's seen his demo video won't ever
> forget it.  (Try building that in any other language!)

Well, funny you should mention it....

So, how are you?

========================================================================
Bernard Horan
Sun Microsystems Labs, Inc
2550 Garcia Avenue, MS UMTV29-111
Mountain View, CA 94043-1100, USA
+1 415 336-2743
+1 415 969-7269 fax



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk for Kids

Quote:

> For the answers to most questions posed in this thread, a great read is:
>         "The Early History of Smalltalk" -- by Alan Kay
>         In the HOPL-II Conference proceedings
>         ACM SIGPLAN Notices Volume 28 # 3

> -- Mike Klein

Is this paper available anywhere on the net?

I'd like to read it.

TIA

--
| Donald M. MacQueen
| Registered Smalltalk Bigot



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 15 post ] 

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