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Re: Recommendations of LMS

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: Recommendations of LMS
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2020 07:39:39 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/1.14.0 (2020-05-02)

That is great Jonathan.

* Jonathan Sandoval <> [2020-08-10 03:35]:
> Techela-emacs was a nice discovery and I'll surely give it a try. But, I
> think it wouldn't be a good fit for our use case.

Probably not. You need small gradient, simpler approach. And do you
really need too much of a distant software?

We have been running Computer Club back in time and many interesting
people came, so we made a schedule.

At some time there would be game playing, at some time explanation how
computers work related to hardware, at some specific time there would
be courses of BASIC, some other time courses of LOGO programming
language. That is how it was.

Emacs is great learning resource, you could put schedule for Emacs
Tutorial, at some time you could demonstrate what is IRC or you could
enable XMPP server for your cultural club. You could help each of them
connect with the world. For small kids there is QCompris software.

> Because of COVID-19, our activites halted. As I mentioned, the people of
> the cultural house are a mix of academics from univerties, but common
> people without formal education and not much knowledge on computing. We
> have a teacher of agroecology who is knowleadgeable about that topic,
> but not much in computers.

As I had a similar situation, I can tell you that common people, even
farmers, they could complete course for BASIC programming language, if
I would have LISP at that time, I would be using that one, it does not
matter. There was no person that could not complete a programming
course, none of them completed university ever.

You can teach a teacher how to teach others, and teacher could provide
course during the week, helping people to learn as I said, about
hardware, CPU, input and output devices, then you give people time for
games, time for communication setup, time for programming, anything,
you can make the good time with people.

> I taught them to use Jitsi Meet and BigBlueButton. It was not
> easy. Jitsi was a little simpler, but not everyone could use BBB. I
> suspect the reason is an old cellphone, but the preventive isolation
> does not allow me to really diagnose the problem. It's an example. Other
> guys have really slow computers and most of them have Windows. We're
> just beginning with free software and I haven't had the opportunity to
> make an installation festival. And other problems have arisen.

I would setup XMPP server, I use Prosody, and I would help them each
to setup XMPP chat for their own society from any device they have,
and I would help them use free software regardless of their operating
system. That would connect your own people together in a safe manner,
network would not be proprietary but your own. US $5 per month is
enough today to run your own website, chat server, and something more.

> So, expecting them to learn emacs, in Windows and Git does not sound
> like a very good idea.

I understand.

Yet you can teach them how to use Emacs. Then you empower them to
teach them how to handle their life by using Org mode. Think about
that, many things may improve in their life. Emacs is much better
learning interface than just a browser alone, as Emacs can teach a
person how to program, how computer works, and what is free software,
it was for decades a good starting program to teach people about GNU,
and today even more so.

> For them, accesing a site with their browsers is more natural,
> because all of them at least have an e-mail account.

There is nothing wrong having people use browser, yet if you only
focus on one interface, you would not teach, you limit them. Emacs is
good for reading emails and good for understanding how emails work.

You have plethora of other educational software, there is music
software, there is chemistry software. Make a schedule of various
activities, that is my proposal for you.

> I doubt 30 minutes are enough for learning emacs (I recently tried
> to show the basics to a friend who's a programmer and is used to
> VSCode and he seemed really confused and kind of gave up).

It is because you may have jumped over some misunderstood and he
become confused. Emacs Tutorial is simple and can be done by anybody
without any background of education. If person does not anything about
computers of course that you would need to explain better what and
where is Ctrl key or what is Meta or Alt key and so on.

I have trained people in using Emacs without any problem within 20-30
minutes, just by opening the tutorial and telling them to
excercise. After the tutorial those some people were opening files for
me, they have been translating files into Swahili language, and saving
files and later sharing with me.

You could Emacs if not for anything, then for Tetris and promotion of
free software. If you are not yourself Emacs user, you may need more
experience to understand the usefulness.

Even just for presentations, Emacs would be good resource, for the
simple fact that size of fonts can be enlarged quick enough to make
short notes to demonstrate to people. Many times I have helped people
understand pieces of information even if they displace their glasses
somewhere, just because fonts can be quickly enlarged. For games, you
could use Tetris, or install Sudoku and already have a good time,
teaching somebody Sudoku or working with 5 people together on one
computer to play 3 session of Sudoku will already bring them good


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