Starting from the premise that we want to make use of what people already know in order to make connections to new knowledge, our approach focuses on thinking, expressing, and communicating with technology. The laptop is a "thing to think with." We hope to make the primary activity of the children one of creative expression, in whatever form that might take. Thus, most activities will focus on the creation of some type of object, be it a drawing, a song, a story, a game, or a program. In another shift in the language used to describe the user experience, we refer to objects rather than files as the primary stuff of creative expression.
As most software developers would agree, the best way to learn how to write a program is to write one, or perhaps teach someone else how to do so; studying the syntax of the language might be useful, but it doesn't teach one how to code. We hope to apply this principle of "learn through doing" to all types of creation, e.g., we emphasize composing music over downloading music. We also encourage the children to engage in the process of collaborative critique of their expressions and to iterate upon this expression as well.
The objectification of the traditional file system speaks more directly to real-world metaphors: instead of a sound file, we have an actual sound; instead of a text file, a story.