Thoughts on crowd curating / easy finding of education & curriculum content?

This isn't quite a Snap! feature request, but it might become one & I could not find a better place. It is also likely under consideration by Jens, Paul, etc.

There is a wealth of Snap education content already existing, actively being developed, and planned. It's only going to grow. Some content is in big initiatives like BJC but there is lots more. The heart of these are manifested in Snap programs, some with supporting material. It would be awesome if the setup made it easy for:

  • the community to curate rank :star: tag & organize that material in a way that is a bit more searchable and discoverable (e.g. age range, or elementary middle high college, or music art science math computing)
  • a user to search, find, and open one of them in the Snap IDE
  • perhaps the IDE Open dialog might include, besides Cloud, Examples, Computer, one more Education entry point into that curated education content
  • perhaps a project could have some metadata beyond the link to the snap code, and anyone saving their Snap project would have the option of submitting to that education track with that extra metadata.

Just thought I would plant this here.

I disagree. The heart of a curriculum is how it encourages kids to think about things. That's the textbook, or worksheets, or whatever form the curriculum takes. Programs are important supporting materials, but they're not the main thing.

But never mind, we agree that there are materials to be collected.

They take a wide variety of forms. BJC is online web pages. Joachim's art curriculum takes the form of a book, the old-fashioned paper kind. Jens and Jadga's lessons are videos embedded in a MOOC. Glen Bull's media arts curriculum lives in threads of the Snap! Forum. Paul's early-childhood math curriculum does center on a bunch of Parsons Problems embedded in Snap!, but Snap! itself is hardly visible in them. One-shot lessons that teachers create are likely to live inside a Course Managament System.

So I think mostly what can be curated are pointers to online resources or pointers to Amazon pages for books.

No, no, no. Never! The harms of such ranking systems far outweigh their benefits; they're corrosive to community. (Cf. Facebook and the crisis of the 21st Century.)

Sure. That'd be fine.

As I said above, I think the Snap! Cloud is the wrong place for these materials. Hardly any of them consist mainly of code. A more general repository, maybe a wiki, would be better.

Yeah it's called the Project Notes! Use some today!™

You're right. The hands-on student activity in Snap may be important to their learning, but the Snap projects themselves are not the heart of the curricula. They are not the lessons themselves. At least not until Thomas Price's lessons & playback in Snap lands :~)

Agree. Like NetsBlox's web site has an For Educators box under Resources which points at short PDF lesson plans, each of which includes links to code projects. But the options here are worth a longer think as it could pay back nicely.

GitHub numbers (stars, contributors, forks) are very useful filters. FB Likes are psychological giveaways for manipulative newsfeeds. Our is education content among educators, more like GitHub than FaceBook. Something ordinal, even if not :star:, would be a big help in finding things as the repository grows. Perhaps:
Interest: Maybe | Probably | Definitely | ...


Agreed. I did not mean for Snap! Cloud to hold those materials. Repo or wiki sound right in the general case. Presumably there would be a template for each entry in that repo, and that template would include links to Snap projects. I think the Open (and perhaps Save) dialogs should have connections to that repo.

Related point: perhaps Snap's website can bump some things from the footer up to the top to make them more visible?

:-)) Will do. A tiny bit of structure won't hurt and would help populate that repo. NetsBlox has a template recipe for adding your project to their examples collection.

A couple of weeks ago my computer died so I've been working on making the new computer work as well as the old one. :~/ So, on the Chrome Store there are half a zillion extensions to make the web pages dark. What I found useful as far as numbers go was the number of downloads. That told me more than the star rating (which they also show) or even the number of reviews. Maybe we can report downloads.

Which things? Privacy policy, but what else were you thinking of?

Sure, that would be fine.

Are you volunteering to run this, by the way? Because I don't think it'll happen otherwise.

Everything under Learning would be nice, perhaps as a drop-down.

After Define Type, yes :-} I'll need some pointers when I get going. Would this likely involve Snap-Cloud for meta-data harvesting (if any) and Snap-Site for landing page tweaks? I just skimmed Cloud's API.

Snap-site for sure. Bernat has just rewritten it. I'm not sure what you'd find in the cloud, though. Oh, "education" as a tag in the Project Notes? I think Bernat will want the ability to search for project tags from the site, so you may not have to worry about that.

If this is already done please ignore (and send me a pointer), but I'm mentioning it here anyway.

Is there a way to expose every user project to Google to index? Not sure if the raw XML will do the trick, but perhaps the project notes, names of built-in & custom blocks used in the projects, code comments, and even links to other users' projects that have downloaded / used it (somewhat equivalent to hyperlinks to Google's search machinery). If it works it might reduce some of the guesswork of tags.

I have no idea, but I'll try to find out. (It would have to be every published project, of course.)

Is that the Share button when saving? If they are private by default, why not make every project public by default, unless the user selects some private checkbox?

The usual thing is that people take a while to finish a project, and they don't want to publish it half-done.

But in any case, we should set a good example for privacy! How would you like it if, say, Microsoft Word automatically published your documents on the web unless you checked a box somewhere? Or Google Docs, a more realistic example?

I can see it both ways.

Here is GitHub's new repo screen with public by default, and new repo would typically mean unfinished:

"Cautious-waddle." What a great repo name! Not.

Git repos are typically less personally revealing than people's projects.

And, although many kids like to have people remix their finished projects, they're less often interested in pull requests against a work in progress. Imho.

But we're considering having only two states, private and published, rather than, as now, a third intermediate state that's visible to people with the URL but not on the web site. We have that third state because for our first decade or so we didn't have the community site, so URL sharing was all there was, and when we started the web site we didn't feel right about turning everyone's URL-shared projects into published projects. But now (or, more precisely, after we invent teacher and student accounts with a specific sharing mechanism) we could, after an announcement, make all the currently shared projects private by default, so you'd have to explicitly publish them, or not. (You could still get the effect of URL sharing by saving the project on your computer and emailing it to your friends.) Not having three states would be much more understandable, I think.

Makes sense. Thanks!

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