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Squeakland Foundation Begins

(by Kim Rose, from newsletter)

Happy New Year to all!

Alan Kay and I are both excited to announce the formation of Squeakland Foundation, a non-profit organization that will take over from Viewpoints Research as the guardians of Etoys.

A critical piece of the mission of Viewpoints Research is to deliver free and open source exemplars and prototypes to the world and then spin them out to new organizations so that they may advance, grow, and evolve. Etoys is now ready to leave the Viewpoints nest and begin its next phase of life.

Led by Tim Falconer and Rita Freudenberg, Squeakland Foundation will build community and encourage deep learning worldwide. Tim and Rita have assembled an impressive group of leaders and we're enjoying working with them during this transition time.

We're thrilled to see the level of enthusiasm around Etoys and the spread of use not only via the XO (One Laptop Per Child) but also through the use of other affordable platforms such as the Intel Classmate, Asus EEE PC, and HP Mini-Note PC. Once again, the fact that Etoys works identically cross-platform is a huge advantage to its users.

2009 should prove a pivotal year for Etoys and its use around the world. Several groups are planning gatherings -- some virtual, others face to face, for both practitioners and developers to come together and exchange ideas and share experiences. These meetings will occur in the United States, Asia, Europe and South America. We'll be reporting on each of these through this newsletter and the Squeakland website as plans solidify, so please keep reading.

Etoys is robust and stable and, if used thoughtfully, can indeed be a platform for "Powerful Ideas". However, what is really needed now are materials people can share, translate, and use in and out of the classroom. Please help the new Etoys team share, develop and disseminate new documentation and curricula.

Etoys cannot stand on its own without such supporting materials. Please share your experiences, projects, successes, and failures so we can continue to learn together and help our children learn.