Over 80 participants representing
a variety of states and countries world-wide gathered at Columbia
College in Chicago to exchange projects, ideas and plans for
using Squeak with muti-aged learners in a variety of contexts.
SqueakFest was the inaugural event for the just-opened "University
Center of Chicago" a state-of-the-art facility shared by Columbia
College, Roosevelt University and DePaul University.
The agenda included panels, presentations and hands-on workshops.
Highlights were a panel presentation from Columbia College's Interactive
Multimedia department, the Early
Childhood Education department, and faculty from the Chicago
Laboratory School who are collaborating to develop suitable
interfaces and curriculum for use in the Lab School; a panel of
participants from Japan who shared the ongoing research and curriculum
development in the Kyoto City Schools and at Kyoto University; a
presentation of "Croquet" and how it is being used as
a development environment for use at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
and the University of Minnesota; and a sneak peak at "Scratch"
a Squeak-based system being designed at the MIT Media Lab intended
for use by high school aged learners.
Several K-12 teachers shared how they used Squeak with students
during the previous academic year and their plans for continued
use next year. Participants dicussed the need and plan for the creation
and dissemination of more documentation and "how to" materials,
specifically for the Etoy component of Squeak.
SqueakFest participants also helped to test an updated version
of Squeak, now fully "international" and ready to support
mutiple languages. This updated version will be available for world-wide
distribution and download via this website shortly -- in time for
the start of the '04/05 academic year.
It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet face-to-face
and to bring educators, developers, learners and technical people
together through the common desire to use and build better computer-based
We wish to acknowledge and thank the sponsors for the event: Columbia
College, Viewpoints Research Institute, Hewlett Packard, and Apple
Columbia College has agreed to host SqueakFest '05 next summer.
We hope to see you there!