Monday, June 11, 2007

learning by doing by teaching

We just finished the first OLPC Game Jam, a 3-day fest of content creation that ended with 11 new games being played by a swarming room of elementary school kids from nearby Needham. Some of the developers walked in with no Python experience and very little Linux knowledge - and walked out with a fully functioning work of art in Pygame running on an XO. I was astounded. The next step is to get games packaged and ready for the June 25 mini-content release; some kids were asking where they could buy the games they tested, and were thrilled to hear they would be able to download and play them for free.

Ah, yes. Howdy! I'm Mel, a recent grad of Olin College, where I studied electrical engineering because that's what the dart landed on sophomore year (really; I have a picture of the dartboard). At the moment I'm recovering from organizing the Jam and firing up on a few more OLPC projects.

When not doing OLPC, you may find me penning math plays, arranging a capella music, learning to swingdance, writing about self-directed learning, or reading textbooks (some people appreciate and collect fine wines; for me it's textbooks). I'm working towards a trip around the world to study how engineers are educated in different cultures (note: that post is old and rough, and I'm working on a more refined research proposal now). I love soy milk, the color yellow, and leaning against a piano to hear the low notes crashing when someone's playing Beethoven.

Question of the day: What are the benefits and limitations of certification systems (degrees, rankings, diplomas) and how would a learning society function without them?

1 comment:

Philip said...

I was just wondering if there were videos taken of the Game Jam. As I've got a feeling that they would be quite educational.