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[Fwd: brainstorming]

Ben Armstrong wrote:

> I guess it depends on the interests of the children, but the common thread
> that seems to emerge is that they are easily hooked on things that involve
> exploration. 

so, what are the topics to explore on linux, and in the broader space of
"computers in general" ( and in the yet broader space of "the universe, as it
is" ?)

there are some astronomy packages for linux.  has anyone seen how their children
take to these?

xearth might be a good means towards the teaching of geography, and of whatever
field(s) of knowledge that the day/night periodicity would be categorized under
( astronomy, again, perhaps. )

on a side-note:

        I'm working at a school-supply store, currently.

        I'll need to muster the guts to go down there when i'm off work, and do
actual digging through the lesson-plans that "carson delosa" and other
edu-publishers have put together.  ( any of them that avoid all instances of
googley-eyed whatevers would be the most towards my liking, currently.  must
they put a face on everything?  leaves are leaves, and leaves need neither eyes
nor mouths. )

        I need to see what they're teaching kids about computers, currently. 
what i've
seen so far have been some posters that didn't seem to say too much of anything
besides humdrum. 

        one idea, which may be applciable here, is something that came up in
reply to
something at teachernet.com. the idea, then, was a database of classrooms that
were ready for establishing some (audio|video|text-based-messaging) conferencing
sessions.  the idea, now, would be the same, but probably on the
person-to-person level, rather than classroom-to-classroom.  this might be valid
as an inclusion in a curriculum about networking.  the 'jabber' messaging-client
might be a step about this.

        i've got a terrible pattern of saying "let's shoot for the moon", and
then {
stopping | being diverted } before i'm even close to the gantryway.  maybe the
saying of it will serve in the dispelling of it.

some other things that might be worth some perusal:


        grants are an option that might be worth some pursuit.

        NASA might /really/ appreciate some software-applications geared towards
computers and space-science.

        i've already come across a site somewhere that offered grants for
education-about-computers. ( will hopefully be able to find this site again, or
one similar to it, when ready. )

something in previous-email or document-referenced-from-* held a mention of some
other linux-kids projects, with a focus on collaboration.  this is a key point,
and the issue (as it seems to me) is "how exactly is the collaboration going to
work out?  good in theory, but how in practice?"

( mailing-lists are not enough, especially when there's a flood of email coming
from other mailing-lists into a person's mailbox, but maybe smtp-messaging will
be a start, at least. )

apologies that this document is not sorted or organized very well.  if i held it
for the sake of editing, it would probably not make it off the local machine.

as for my own goals and possible-methods, i've already taken a heavy liking to
xemacs. it's a good raft for among the other software tools.  

i was offended by something that was in something like the /etc dir of the
fsf-emacs distribution, and would like to be sure that the source-code of xemacs
is well-enough cleaned up of extraneous comments, as one comment has already
been encoutered which was nonsense in a religious perspective ("we are all
pagans at heart"... a comment from one who knows not. ).  [ furthermore, this
_does not_ belong in a piece of public source-code. utterly un-professional, and
a discouraging thing to encounter about a free software project. ]

so that's the sounding-board for today, i guess.


Camm Maguire wrote:

> That about sums it up for me: are we mindless sheep to be pacified and 
> entertained, or is the computer a tool which should flexibly bend to 
> our will as we pursue a line of investigation?

"hear, hear!"

> Windows will always be slicker, smoother, more
> comfortable.

... a matter of opinion.  

i find myself to be more uncomfortable on ms-w.  something about it seems fishy,
and unstable.


looking forward to when i feel like i'm, finally, fully settled-down into this,

-- sean

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