Etoys is a free software environment aimed at younger learners (although it will work with older learners as well). It is like software sandbox or toolbox where students can play with elements to create different projects. Etoys is most effective as a learning tool when used to implement the constructionist concepts of Seymour Papert and Alan Kay. Etoys is one of the main applications shipped with the One Laptop Per Child XO computer.

An exercise using Etoys: EDU.560.Make.an.aquarium.pdf

A Google form for recording your thoughts as a teacher using an Etoys project.

The beginnings of a rubric for assessing an Etoys project:
Category
Exemplary - 4
Accomplished - 3
Developing - 2
Beginning - 1
Non-starter - 0
Content
I completed the requirements of the exercise, and went beyond what I had to do.




Creativity
My seascape is original and shows that I tried to be creative with the assignment




Problem-solving
I found ways to use Etoys to meet the project requirements






Some Etoys resources:

Squeakland: Home of Etoys. Download the software from here; also find discussions, support, and resources on how to use Etoys in education.

Squeakland Showcase: Part of the Squeakland site, an area where users can share their Etoys projects.

Etoys Illinois: Site maintained by a group at the University of Illinois. A good source of documentation, project ideas and sample student work.