Teaching with Tux
Oct 22, 2009, 12:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mike Diehl)
" All three games feature Tux, the mighty Linux mascot. In the
paint program, Tux gives instructions on how to select a color from
a pallet. In the typing and Math games, Tux shoots down invaders or
eats fish as they fall from the sky. Either way, it's a nice touch
for a children's program; who doesn't love penguins?
"When I first encountered Tux Paint listed as an educational
program, I had some doubts. Almost every computing environment
comes with a free paint program. What makes Tux Paint any different
than the rest? What makes it qualify as an educational program?
Well, Tux Paint is really geared toward young children; it's simple
enough that they can use it with little or no instructions. It
certainly isn't as powerful as the Gimp, but it has a few features
that kids should have fun with. As you can see in Figure 2, I'm
only slightly more advanced than your average 5 year old art
student. On the left side, we see icons for the various functions
such as drawing, text, and shapes. We also see an icon for
“magic,” which gives us the menu we see on the right.
On the “magic” menu, we see two brick tools, a
“sparkle” tool as well as a rainbow tool. Kids can use
these tools to create whatever they can imagine. My masterpiece
demonstrates the grass, sparkle and brick tools. You can also see
Tux, which kids can put in their art using the “stamp”
tool. Most of the tools have their own sound effects to help keep
the child's attention."