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Subject: RE: Finnish greeting, OWL, and a sample activity
From: mwforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Wendy Petti)
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 2002 00:40:32 -0500

Probably the majority of our group's members are from the U.S., but
many members of MWForum are teachers in Australia; other members are
from Canada, Ecuador, England, and Italy (and if I haven't mentioned
your country, please tell us!), so it is exciting to know we have a
new member from Finland to join our international discussion group.

For those of you who are fairly new, I'd like to mention an online
MicroWorlds resource:

MicroWorlds in Action
http://mia.openworldlearning.org

I've been involved in creating the content for that site, and
another member of our MWForum group (Daniel Ajoy of Ecuador) is the
webmaster... and a third member of our group (Chris Myers of Denver,
CO) is the founder of OpenWorld Learning (OWL), which is sponsoring
the development of the site.  (One of the OWL teachers, Natalie
Helbig, is also a member of MWForum.) The MicroWorlds in Action site
is very much a work in progress, but 11 of the 32 folders of
projects and activities are currently active.  The Spanish version
of those 11 folders is active, too.  We welcome your input!!

I've also been developing some print materials for OWL, and I am
attaching one example to this message, called "Teach the Turtle New
Words."  It is a Word document created for Windows, so I guess not
everyone will be able to open it, but I'm curious to see how our new
list does with archiving attachments.  (If you receive the digest
version with no attachments, try using the link at the bottom of
this message and going from there to the archives and see if you can
open the attachment from my message there.)  There are several
graphics on the 2-page document, so even if you have a
document-converting program, the graphics might not display.  The
OWL teachers were finding that beginning users of MicroWorlds have
an easier time dealing with printed materials than an online site,
and that is why I've begun developing some of these offline
materials.

A disclaimer:  this attached document may seem to be too much of a
step by step lesson with not enough constructivist exploration, so I
want to emphasize that the whole approach to learning MicroWorlds in
the OWL computer labs is a beautiful blend of mostly constructivism
with just enough structure to provide some accountability to funders
and a sense of accomplishment to the students as they progress
through various skill levels.  Most of the students' MicroWorlds
projects reflect their own ideas and interests.  There is also a
core curriculum of skills which students are expected to learn and
to demonstrate through their own projects.  But their work on the
curriculum skills is interspersed with their own creative
explorations.  Acquiring a basic foundation of core skills enables
them to branch out to implement their own ideas.  The students learn
how to teach each other, and so the teacher/student ratio is
wonderful since so many students are themselves also teachers.

I have absolutely loved my visits to the OWL computer labs, and I'll
write more about them soon.

By the way, I think in time we'll be posting many of the print
materials on the MicroWorlds in Action site; I'll let you know when
that occurs.  Or maybe we can convert some of the materials into PDF
files for more universal sharing with this group.

Wendy

> Hello from Finland!
> As I have written earlier, I am building up a new Finnish
> project for
> Logo use in schools. The experiences of MicroWorld use were very
> valuable to me. Please let of those in an every day school use.

> Heikki Korpinen

Attachment: Teach the Turtle New Words.doc
Description: MS-Word document


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