You may want to first check out the short videos relating to skidTo use Skid in Hindi, Francais, Deutsch
Lots of people know at least some programming, for whom learning Ruby should be a breeze. This set of very brief tutorials helps you hit the ground running, by showing you how to set up your web app, create databases and forms in a jiffy, and how to use some of the amazing tools that Ruby provides, such as Hpricaot for slicing and dicing web pages.
Welcome to the home of Skid software, which is designed to help kids communicate and learn. It is also a platform that computer students use, to learn web programming.
Children who cannot speak properly, including many with cerebral palsy and autism, are denied access to a regular school, even though they could communicate in other ways, for instance using a computer. It is such other ways, that Skid explores.
Children have different disabilities, to different degrees, and not seldom combinations of disabilities. Software that seeks to take advantage of the unique combination of abilities of each child therefore must come in almost endless variety. Then again, the software needs to be able to grow as the child grows.
The manner we seek to address this challenge in Skid, is to have large numbers of tiny modules in the software, that the user can select and combine, based on the specific task she wishes to perform. This should make it also easy for large numbers of students and care givers, even those with modest programming skills, to design new modules for Skid.
To download the skid source code via command line, use the command "svn co http://rubypython.svnrepository.com/svn/skid"
In fact, skid is also a platform where we actively encourage friends to come join us in developing new modules. Many students are taking advantage of this opportunity to learn cutting-edge web programming. Here are some presentations on different aspects of the skid software
Skid is designed to be used via one of the following means of input:
joystick or racing wheel (so far only works under Linux, needs special client software. Different clients exist for one button, two button and five button operation).
arrow keys and space bar (via free Windows and Linux client software)
A good place to start is the picbrowser module, which lets the child browse through the pictures in the images folder. This module allows you to select a picture for photo-editing. Each time you click the smiley, the subfolder of pictures shown to you changes. This works well with the recognize module, which presents you with one large and several small pictures from the subfolder you were last looking at with picbrowser. One of these is the same picture as the large one. The software tallies the number of times you picked this correct one, and present you with a fresh challenge each time you make a choice. At any time, you can go back to picbrowser to change the subfolder used to pick pictures in the recognize module.
The module easypic encourages children to start learning how to spell. While picbrowser, as above, lets them serially scan through many pictures, easypic lets them home in on the one they are looking for, by selecting the first few letters of the name. The name of the picture thus picked is added to the text the child is typing when you navigate away fromthe easypic module, making this an easy way for the child to type.
We hope that the combination abcd, easypic and words will help those with dyslexia. For instance, a child looking for the word “suspenders” might not be capable of spelling it, but could perhaps be taught to recognize, that it contains the sounds, and therfore the characters “s”, “p” and “d”. If the user types these characters using the abcd module, then switches to the words module is presented with the choices “spend,spilled,stepped,stopped,suspenders”, from which it should be easy to select and thereby type the correct word. To select a module combination, please go to modules or to the module selector, which allows you to select and deselect modules by simply clicking on their names in the choices.
Modules for wikipedia browsing,changing fonts and colors and simple image and text editing have been recently added.