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Scott's Journals

April 26, 2010

  • I worked on the lessons and survey this week.
  • This coming week, I'll work on improving the lessons and coming up with more questions for the survey, since it's not long enough.
April 09, 2010

  • I worked on a survey and the exercises a bit more this week. We went to New School and demoed Storytelling Alice. This time, the students worked on the lesson, and we got some good feedback on things to fix in our lesson 1, and hopefully we can transplant the basic ideas into the other lessons.
  • This coming week, I'll finish up the survey and work on improving the lessons.
April 04, 2010

  • This week, I continued to work on the exercises in my lessons and the solutions for the teachers.
  • This coming week, I'll continue to improve the solutions to the exercises and work on what Professor Feng tells me needs improvement.
March 28, 2010

  • This week, I worked on the exercises in my lessons and making the solutions for the teachers.
  • This coming week, I'll improve the solutions to the exercises and work on what Professor Feng gives me as feedback to fix in the lessons.
March 19, 2010

  • This week, I improved my lessons to mostly follow the template. I followed many of the standards of the template, but where I thought there might be better or alternate possibilities, I tried a number of different variations. Since I have 4 lessons, I was able try out a decent number of different approaches. I also made a number of exercises for my lessons.
  • This coming week, I'll improve the lessons by matching them to what Professor Feng tells me are the good ideas. I'll continue to make more exercises and solution manuals for teachers for possible deployment next week.
March 05, 2010

  • This week, I worked on improving the lessons. I got some good data from Kid's Tech University to use in improving the lessons. I'll have to talk to the others more and find out what they discovered for fixing the lessons. One thing which was very clear to me is that the 'size' of a step should be very specific. Too long and they forget what they were supposed to be doing, too short, and they have to switch back and forth way too often.
  • These coming two weeks, I'll improve the lessons based on the template, whatever we learned from KTU, whatever feedback we get (hopefully a good amount), and whatever else I can think of. I'll also work on creating more exercises for the lessons and solution manuals for teachers.
February 26, 2010

  • This week, I finished converting Michelle's lessons to LaTeX, then made some improvements according to the template that Dr. Feng gave us.
  • This coming week, I'll continue to work on improving the lessons, and will hopefully get useful data from Kid's Tech University to use in improving the lessons, by fixing up whatever steps are confusing, or more ideally, whatever *types* of steps are confusing. The more general information I can gather, the better (since we're not demoing all of the lessons yet)
February 19, 2010

  • I couldn't work on updating the lessons, so I instead worked on converting lessons into LaTeX. My work on converting my lessons to LaTeX is now done, and I've also started on converting Michelle's lessons.
  • This week, I'll continue converting Michelle's lessons, then I'll improve the LaTeX files and work on the sites.
February 17, 2010

  • We met today and got up to date on what we were going to finish by the end of the week, as well as getting some new feedback. Professor Feng is getting more feedback for us on our journals that we will hopefully have fully implemented by the end of this week.
  • My work on converting the lessons to LaTeX is almost done, but of tertiary importance, as they won't be on the CD we will be making on Friday. As such, they will take a back seat to any changes to the .doc lessons.
February 13, 2010

  • This week I was going to help Michelle on her website and possibly work on converting the lessons into LaTeX. As it turned out, Michelle didn't need my help with the website, so I worked on converting the lessons into LaTeX. I didn't actually get very far, but I've figured out a number of things about LaTeX I didn't know (mostly what I had learned previously were math display-based). I've also now learned about a program called Lyx, which I'm told should speed the process by a lot.
  • This week I'm going to finish up converting the lessons into LaTeX using Lyx and then do anything I can for the websites.
February 05, 2010

  • Last week, Sahil and I partitioned the lessons between each other and worked on them. I first took some time to come up with a re-ordering of the lessons, choosing what I believe to be the best order based on the difficulty of the lessons, the importance of the concepts presented, and the interest/excitement they'll likely generate in the students.
  • Then, Sahil did the first 5 lessons and I the last 4 of the new ordering, which were: 1) Playing with Alice, an introduction to Alice where they go through a tutorial and are then walked through creating the tutorial in order to introduce many of the basic ideas and most of the important workspaces for working in Storytelling Alice, 2) Parallelism, a lesson teaching kids about the concept of parallelism using Storytelling Alice's easy-to-use Do Together language construct, 3) Running Around in Loops, about loops (for loops with simple iteration), 4) Method to making methods, where the concept of a method or 'action' is taught, 5) What If, about conditional statements, 6) Sounds, about using sound files in Storytelling Alice, 7) Variables, teaching the concept of a variable, 8) Creating Classes, about, unsurprisingly, creating classes (which are actually more like a concrete object for the most part in SA), and 9) Recursion, tackling the difficult concept of recursion.
  • Sahil and I retuned the wording, tried to explain more of what they were doing without being long-winded using sidebars, and in my case, finished any uncompleted lessons (7).
  • This week, since we need feedback before continuing with the lessons, Sahil and I will be helping Michelle with the website she is creating.
January 29, 2010

  • We met today and talked about how we were going to proceed. Currently, Sahil and I are going to switch our lessons and revise each others' lessons.
  • Although it'll only become important in the future, I'm going to continue learning to use latex and hopefully port more lessons to latex.
December 13, 2009

  • We met on Thursday and discussed the arrangement of the lessons for when we present them to the children next semester.
  • I did a bit of work on learning some LaTeX. I've been preparing for exams and finishing up final projects/papers/homeworks, which took up much of my free time.
November 30, 2009

  • I continued to work on our lessons and finished my lesson on variables and started one on parameters. The lesson on variables needs more pictures and some fine-tuning, though.
  • I'm going to work on learning how to use LaTeX so we can use it/convert our lessons to it.
November 23, 2009

  • Thanksgiving Holdiay Break -- no meeting, continuing work below
November 16, 2009

  • This week I worked on some of our old lessons and did some more on the lesson on variables.
  • Some of us briefly met today and went over what we were going to do for the next couple of weeks, then left to go about doing those things as well as our other responsibilities.
November 10, 2009

  • Last week I started on a new lesson about variables, but found it hard to explain the relevant concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. However, I got some good ideas from the meeting we had on Monday.
  • Since we won't be meeting for three weeks, I'm planning on finishing this lesson up, trying to find some other lessons to make, and fine-tuning the lessons we already have. I will also help convert lessons to LaTeX if I can and Michelle would like the help.
November 02, 2009

  • This week I worked on getting the exercises and key terms in some previous lessons up.
  • This coming week I'm going to work on fixing up the content of some of the previous lessons, fixing some more exercises and key terms, and possibly working on an intermediate lesson for one of our topics.
October 26, 2009

  • This week I finished up a lesson on what methods are and how to create them. I also touched up the lesson on conditionals and while loops that I almost finished last week and finished it.
  • This week I'm going to find something else to make a lesson about and/or fix up some lessons that have been created previously, making them mesh together more, making them clearer, and finishing up some key terms and exercises at the ends of lessons.
October 21, 2009

  • This week I started on another couple of lessons. I've almost finished one and have good ideas about how to do the second.
  • We're going to meet up tomorrow and get some revising done. I'm going to finish up both of the lessons this week and hopefully get a good amount of revision on previous lessons done in the group.
October 12, 2009

  • Unfortunately, Michelle, Sahil and I were yet again unable to find a good time to meet.
  • I wrote up Lesson 4 this week. I expect to be working on revising this, Lesson 1, and a Lesson involving terminology this week. If we can meet up, perhaps we could do all of our revisings to our satisfaction (for now, anyway) and work on a new lesson together.
October 05, 2009

  • This week I revamped Lesson 1 to make it in the format of the template that Michelle and I decided upon, added a lot of pictures, made a little bit of terminology at the end of it, and tried to make the wording simpler and more understandable.
  • I'm going to meet up with Sahil and Michelle sometime this week and we'll work on the lessons together, which will hopefully enhance the quality of the lessons, since we'll have multiple people examining it, we might be able to help each other even do it faster.
September 28, 2009

  • I wrote up the beginnings of another lesson, this one about terminology and explaining Storytelling Alice terms and what they mean.
  • Worked on getting the website to have a menu for the journals tab on the side. I'm working on this with Gabe and Billy, and so far I've made a convenient structure for getting and accessing the journals by person, year, and month and am looking into how exactly to make pop-up menus that can display this data.
  • Also wrote up basic instructions for what to do when a network connection isn't working.
  • This week, I'll be working on getting lessons in a better format and finishing up the website's journal display menu.
September 21, 2009

  • Attended the meeting, and as usual we went over what we did and what was to come.
  • I will be working on finishing up lesson 1, making some good documentation for Storytelling Alice, and the web site this week.
September 14, 2009

  • Today we discussed what we had done so far in terms of examining the tutorials and creating our lessons.
  • It turns out that those who made Storytelling Alice did not make an easy tool for creating the tutorials, so we would have to either create one or code it by hand.
  • We also discussed our plans for the entire year -- right now, we would like to have as many as 15 lessons done by the time the semester ends, and we would use next semester to test it out in schools, make appropriate changes, and look into other things that need to be done, while making lessons at a slower pace.
September 07, 2009

  • All of us met today to discuss what we were going to do this semester. Professor Feng assigned Michelle and I the task of examining Storytelling Alice and its tutorials to extract useful ideas for our lessons. Our lessons are to be centralized around important programming concepts.
  • We also discussed making our lessons into tutorials like the ones in Storytelling Alice, which we did not have a readily available tool for making.