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We have been using SqueakToys in the ALAN-K project to construct a type of education environment While SqueakToys has great potential, teachers at Kyoto schools have shown hesitation to use it in regular classes mainly because there has not been any established course material yet. An approach we took in order to overcome this problem was to work with the students of the TIDE course at Kyoto University and UCLA. The unique characteristics of the TIDE course were that the lecture was focused on the childhood education with computers. Also, the students of this course have diverse background not only the grade or faculty but also the nationality. This was preferable set of students not only because the course treated the education issue, but also the students managed to provide different viewpoints. In the first part of the course, students participated in the joint course taught by Alan Kay and Yahiko Kambayashi about computing and education. Based on the insight from the lectures, the students tried to develop Squeak-based class materials that attempted to encourage the creativity of children. Finally, students held workshops with 5th and 6th grade children to evaluate their materials. We report the experience and results from this course.
Date of Conference: 29-30 Jan. 2004