Better use of Tech for Lifelong Learning – Part 1

I love to learn – don’t you?

Maybe I have a filtered view, but I believe most folks love to learn. And thanks to YouTube, domain expert sites like StackOverflow and community participation over social networks, how we learn has dramatically changed as the Internet moved mainstream. I see a striking difference from how I learned way back when to how my kids learn. My daughter is a surprisingly good make-up artist after watching and imitating way too many YouTube videos on how to do make-up. I’ve recently jumped into the deep end of learning how to develop iPhone and iPad applications. In the process, I devour site after site of “been there done that” or “I’m really good at this and want to share” programming lessons from iOS gurus. YouTube has been a unique experience. Several times I have been instructed through a video made by a kid whose voice hasn’t changed yet. My current favorite sites for iPhone/iPad development include:
Ray Wenderlich’s site

stackoverflow

Moms With Apps

Along with the mobile app reviews of apps for kids by Common Sense Media, Moms With Apps is also a great site for kids iPad/iPhone educational applications.

Both my daughter and I anticipate and enjoy learning  – whether they be make-up artistry in the case of my daughter or mobile interactive programming in my case.

Why does school have to be an Old Ball and Chain>

Unfortunately, my children’s engagement at school is similar to what mine was only with a 50 lbs. heavier backpack.  Like I was, for the most part they are bored.
The challenge I faced when I was growing up was boredom and changing schools about every two years.  Other than not moving – and in my children’s'- case very inappropriate dancing at a young age – not much has changed in school life.  The key aspect of changing the  behavior of learning from an act of boredom to one of anticipation has yet to be achieved.  Of course, challenges bring opportunities.

Don’t worry – be optimistic

Yet – I am optimistic.  One privilege I have had in the past years is getting a closer look at passionate people who come from all sorts of backgrounds figuring out how to best take the hairball of technology advances that are spread before us and turn them into aspects that will serve as a behavioral change in how our children learn.

One man’s vision to reinvent education

I found the recent Ted Talk by Salman Khan to be inspiring.

Stuff that got me excited included:

“You are HERE” map of acquired skills

Mr. Khan walks us through  a view of data gathered from learners who used their content to determine what skill a learner is comfortable with and what skills a learner needs help.  If we think of our kids as being CEOs of their education, these views are as important as balance sheets, Profit and Loss Statements and trend analyses are to a business.

Data driven results are nothing new of course.  It was a cornerstone of NCLB (No Child Left Behind).  What IS totally different is the business-like implementation.  Through this kind of analysis, a community of learners and teachers can instantly assess where a child is excelling – and more importantly – where intervention will strengthen a learner’s skills.

Who better than an ex-hedge-fund manager – which Mr. Khan amusingly notes in the talk – to work out a meaningful implementation of a child’s learning data and its post analytical views into the data?

Approachable and Interesting Videos that Don’t Rat Hole

I went to Mr. Kahn’s site and was impressed with not only the volume of content available given the small amount of people working on it, but how the content was presented.  I was struck with the “just the [approachable] facts” without rat holing into specific examples that have no real interest to the learner.  I’ve had this happen in math.  The teacher used baseball statistics as part of our exercises.  The boys loved it.  Us girls?  well…sure there were a few…but there were far boys motivated by baseball stats than girls.

A behavioral change

What a great idea Mr. Kahn proposes in the TED Talk. Use the videos for homework and use class time for a faces-faces discussion of what was covered. This seems to be similar to how I am currently learning iPhone/iPad programming. I prowl Apple’s website for developers as well as any tutorials and videos. I then thrash around to find a conversation where I can bring up stuff I don’t know. Except in school there should be less thrashing since there is a teacher and classmates instead of strangers.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The platform Mr. Kahn has implemented includes a reward system that acknowledges the accomplishments of a learner. After all, it is far better to reward accomplishments than to label my kid as a “C student.” With that said, next post I’ll get into how we could improve on the reward system.

That’s NOT all…

Mr. Kahn’s platform of student progression and approachable content should definitely evolve and its efficacy tested. I’d adopt my games to fit in within their carefully placed content modules. I don’t see it as just a school platform, but rather a lifelong learning platform

Next post I’ll discuss aspects of that I feel are either missing or could be improved in all.

It is much easier to be optimistic knowing folks like Mr. Kahn are out there changing the behavior of how our children learn and providing a scalable platform so that great learning is not just available to a privileged few.

        

Meet Ed – The iPhone Reading Game

It’s been a little less than three months since I started creating a reading game for the iPhone. I had enough done to show the game to what I thought would be a harsh critic, Eleanor. Eleanor is my four year old great-niece. She will be starting Kindergarten next Fall.

Earlier that day, I sat next to Eleanor while she worked extremely hard to read a Disney Princess book with her mom.  She struggled to pronounce a few words and then sat back in what appeared to be exhaustion. I was reminded once again how difficult it is to learn to read.

If creativity expressed through technology can get people to walk the stairs as seen in this video:

Piano stairs – TheFunTheory.com – Rolighetsteorin.se

Then how hard can it be to plant a seed that grows into a lifelong love of reading shaped by creativity and technology?.

My hope is the game I am creating will give our earliest readers (mostly pre-K and Kindergarten children) a chance to have a happy and positive experience engaged with words and sentences.  Ultimately, I hope to ship many interactive experiences for our children that weave into a positive learning experience.

The available devices have never been better to realize this dream.  Touch enabled Smart Phones have many attributes that make it a positive and approachable “learn to read” device.

Interacting on the iPhone is a 1:1 experience on a fairly small screen.  This means adults can’t look over Eleanor’s shoulder.  This is in stark contrast to the reading practice I witnessed earlier that day.  I can only imagine the stress Eleanor was under as she struggled to impress her mom and great-aunt.  I’m betting if Eleanor were to practice reading on an iPhone, there would be no performance anxiety and she would be in control.

Another major advantage is the iPhone reading software can provide audio help.  No longer does the child have to ask his parent…”…what does THIS say?”  No one has to know she asked for help.

The software is always available to interact with. It doesn’t get tired or grumpy or busy.  In fact, the developer HOPES the child spends as much time as possible with the interactive experience they provide.

The parent isn’t buying a specialized device that the child has to carry around, which also means the parent must remember to bring it and make sure it is charged.  If a parent has a Smart Phone, the chances are highly likely that wherever they go the Smart Phone is available.

The experience relies on touch, gestures, an accelerometer and/or a camera.  These are far more intuitive input and output devices for our earliest readers  than a keyboard and mouse.  I don’t have the experience yet to say for sure, but given what I have learned about children and keyboards, I am betting we can engage children earlier than we can with a Qwerty keyboard and mouse. There is nothing wrong with a keyboard and mouse.  I am using a keyboard to type this post.  In fact, I can’t imagine typing this post on an iPhone.  Keyboards and mice are excellent input peripherals when we need to be productive.   However, in Eleanor’s case the motivation is to engage here with text.  To get her to consume the content, not create it.  I want to show her that words and reading  are powerful tools that will help her throughout her life.  It’s hard to beat the positive interactive experience touch provides when we need to break down the mountain of intimidation that learning to read can grow into.

It was getting late.  Very close to the time Eleanor takes a bath and then goes to bed.  After watching Eleanor struggle to pronounce the words in the Princess book, I was concerned the game I was creating would be too difficult for her.  This would be troubling because she is at critical point in her quest to read.  The time when children makes steps to move from picking out words to understanding what they read.  Actually, educators have told me the transition from word calling to reading comprehension typically occurs to children in the first grade.  I have this theory I’m working out with these games in which I’m exploring if children can understand what is written earlier if the format is changed, the 1:1 experience is engaging, and audio help is readily available.  My take is if this could be accomplished, children’s self esteem would sky rocket.  This confidence might spark a willingness to try other hard learning skills.

I ask Eleanor to help me with creating my game since it has been a very, very long time since I was four.  Once again I am washed over with the happiness that comes with every kid that I get to show a game and then see their reaction.  Their reactions aren’t masked.  Their reactions are wonderfully honest.  Honest feedback – whether positive or not – is the only way I can participate in a much bigger effort to have EVERYONE read.

Eleanor comes over and sits beside me.  Her mom hangs a few feet back curiously watching.  I start up the game within the simulator.  Out comes Ed – a frog who is the protagonist of the game and has become a good friend.  I no longer am creating a game.  I am providing an interactive experience that both Eleanor and Ed would enjoy if Eleanor were to meet and interact with a virtual frog.


The game has two modes.   Based on what I learned from ItzaBitza and ItzaZoo, I feel it is important to strengthen children’s ability to pick out sight words while also providing a mode in which children interact with sentences.  My goal is the player/reader is getting familiar with the meaning of a sentence through interaction with concepts of the sentence.  Too often I see children’s educational games where the interactivity is somewhat gratuitous.  Kids tap on something and it moves or it boings.  But it has nothing to do with becoming less intimidated with what is written on the page.  In fact, many times these experiences require parent intervention.  Don’t get me wrong, parents interacting with their children as they learn to read, parents who read alot and discuss what they are reading is the best way for children to excel in reading.  However, there are times such as ordering food at a restaurant or going someplace in a car where the child would actually benefit from a 1:1 experience if there was true learning involved rather than only engagement which is what more traditional entertainment is about.

Eleanor chooses Ed’s Word Challenge.  She surprises her mom and me with how well she did.  She has a basic understanding of sounding out words.  The words are shown to her in a way that compliments her basic word sounding ability.  The game is designed to emphasize positive feedback over competition – which I see as better for older kids or kids that have more domain expertise.  There should be no sense of failure or panic – but rather a feeling of forward progress with enough challenge to make the interactivity enticing  Every time she gets the word right the game pauses and acknowledges this major achievement adding the “win” to the ability to get to the next reputation level.  Like me, Eleanor would much rather be ranked an Extreme Frogger than a Tadpole.

I was relieved when Eleanor asked her mom if they had this game at home.  I also got some great feedback from her mom on how I could improve the design.  While I hope many kids enjoy these simple reading games, I know some won’t.  But what is important is the opportunity to plant a seed of a lifelong love of reading in a kid.

        

Finally – great learning devices for kids of all ages

I’m very excited to see the growth in great educational games on the iPhone and the iPad.  Both show signs of starting an interactive digital learning evolution.

Two sites I highly recommend for their knowledgable reviews and community are:

Common Sense Media http://www.commonsensemedia.org/mobile-app-lists/great-ipad-apps-kids

moms with Apps: http://momswithapps.com/

The iPhone – carried around everywhere by the parent – lends itself to tactile learning experiences using touch and the accelerometer that aren’t possible on PCs that use the point and click mouse interface.  The iPad – with its larger screen – provides a truly interactive experience.  Like a story book, parents can share the device with their child – reading together and delighting in the cause and effect surprises afforded by interactive digital media.  For children, their gesture / touch interface are far more intuitive and less intimidating than a mouse and keyboard.

The other great thing about these devices is the tools provided for developers to create their games.  Twenty years ago I was a PC programmer.  And not a very good one at that.  It was extremely difficult to find communities to ask questions to.  Heck, we didn’t even have a debugger.  The programming language I used was mostly Pascal and C with a little of Assembler thrown in.

Now I sit happily ensconced in the XCode environment with very powerful and not to difficult to use art tools such as Photoshop (art) and Audition (audio) to name two.  We get to program in Objective C – which for C coders is probably less attractive than it is for a craftsperson like myself.  We can quickly swoop in and fix bugs using the sophisticated debugging and instrumentation tools Apple provides.  And what really makes it special is the community of fellow iOS developers who share their knowledge.  I was on stack overflow.com the other day about to ask a question.  I held my breadth, and hit the button to post.  However, before posting stack overflow.com came up with a list of question/answers – one of which was exactly what i was looking for.   This domain specific search capability that “just happens” dramatically accelerates how quickly we can pick up a new subject – like iPhone programming.  Finally,  it possible for craftsmen (i.e.: non-CS geeks) to dream, design, implement and publish interactive educational masterpieces.

Like with what happened to music recording when the individual could become the publisher – there is a lot of crap.  But you know what?  There is a lot of great educational apps coming out for the iPhone and particularly the iPad.

        

ItzaBitza – Now For Win 7 Folks with Touch Devices

But before I get to Windows 7…I’m going to indulge in a trip down memory lane. Larry (a person I have not met) sent me an email last week asking me if I remembered participating in a computer show circa 1990′s where I was totally giddy showing Windows 3.0.  Whoa..um..yeah…

Looking bock – those of us who programmed for Windows 2.03 had every reason to be excited.   Until Windows 3.0, it was a total blast learning Windows programming by clinging to Charles Petzold’s written word and then jumping in.  I loved the immediate feedback the computer gave me to whatever I programmed.  It was this immediate feedback loop that gave me my first insight into how software and hardward could have a tremendous effect on learning.   

To us – the changes in Windows 3.0 were amazing…we could use DDE to talk between applications.  Stuff was GUI-ish – I had fun flinging data between an application that gathered some performance numbers and a visualization of the numbers.  I felt like an artist making abstract splats with the performance data.  If only big screens had been available back then, I’m quite sure I could evolved this into a multi-screen art exhibition where the term art performance took on a whole different meaning.

 

 

…geez – what’s with the mullet?  More importantly – Windows technology twenty years later…

 

Windows7Windows – like all of us – has matured.  And like all of us, maintains some fundamentals it was created with.  Something old, yet Windows 7 brings a lot that is definately new.

        

3D Game Engines and Their Potential to Teach

In my previous post, I talked about Borderlands – a great FPS (First Person Shooter) game.  

timezattack 

Games like Borderlands are created using a 3D game engine.  I’ve been able to get over the sadness that came with the cancellation of my favorite TV show – 24 – through the (virtual) blast I’ve had playing First and Third Person Shooters. Now – instead of asking – what would Jack Baur DO? I find myself playing his part…

Similar to Flashcards, First and third Person Shooters are such a skill-and-drill concept.  Except they have the potential to immerse the player (I mean of course learner) with an experience in which their growing knowledge is engaged in foreword progress in the game.  And what is really great about foreword progress in a game is its immediate reward system – which leads to a growing self-confidence as achievements are received and levels are reached.

So, certainly things that need to be memorized through drill are candidates for First and Third Person Shooters– right? 

Exactly.  That brings me to a BIG SHOUT OUT to Big Brainz’s  Timez Attack.  If you have kids who are learning their multiplication tables – this is a game that is worth checking out.  It is basically a 3D Third Person Shooter where your child shoots the answers to multiplication questions that appear on a monster’s chest.  Instead of aiming a weapon, the weapon are the numbers on your PC (or Mac’s) keyboard. 

monster

I first heard of this game when our youngest daughter was in third grade.  She had this most amazing teacher that diligently searched for the best learning software.

 One day our daughter was excitedly  jumping up and down.  Her arms were flailing above her head as she begged us to install Timez Attack.  She had played Timez Attack at school.  What a hoot!  My daughter is playing a Third Person Shooter during school hours….

Before I go on –> Another HUGE SHOUT OUT to the many teachers that have been such positive guides to our children!!!
 
For our daughter, playing Timez Attack was a much better time than grinding through multiplication flashcards.

I don’t see – or even advocate – a game to displace another activity.  Rather – I truly believe that game companies can create awesome games using 3D engines that teachers recommend as just one additional option.

This interactive/direct feedback/rewards system  way to learn seems to me to be a great way to reinforce what is being learned through Flashcards and other methods.  AND self-confidence is being built because of the immediate gratification that comes with conquering a software game.

As we prepare Flashcards for multiplication results or vocabulary words maybe we should ask… Would our kids benefit from first and third person shooters where the skill involved is the entry of important facts?  I say yes.

        

What I’ve Learned from Playing Borderlands

Why Games Should be Added to our School’s Curriculum

Learn to read  

Long after work ends…after I’ve walked our dogs…after I’ve said good night to our children…I sit down and play a game on my PC that is my latest “must play.”  This time around it is a game called  Borderlands.    I’m not very good at this game.  I’ve been playing for at least two weeks and am not close to completion.  In comparison, my co-workers finished the game in one night.  OK, ok – I estimate that each of them have spent an accumulated 20,000 hours (no I’m NOT kidding) playing these type of games.  Me?  Well let’s just say I’m a late (my daughters might say VERY late) bloomer.

Borderlands is a really fun, well done, intense FPS (First Person Shooter).  While I could play with three of my friends, I prefer single player mode.  Besides, I don’t know any middle aged women that would play with me.  Bejeweled, maybe.  A First Person Shooter – nah….

If you are not familiar with FPSs, they are very popular with boys.  So popular that several of our senators have decided nothing good can come from playing these type of games.  In case you’d like to get a better feeling for FPSs, here is a link to the Wikipedia article on FPSs.

Since I started playing Borderlands, I’ve discovered, explored and have become familiar with new territories.  I’ve gone on missions and won achievements.   I’m always on the watch for bad guys, Skags, and Zombies. I’ve figured out how best to manage my inventory of weapons, shields, and healing supplies so that I have at least some chance of winning the next Boss Challenge.  When I finally conquer the Boss, I am excited to share this victory with my family.  Their feedback is a tad disappointing.  My youngest daughter notes that I should grow up.  I guess as a parent I can understand why they think the large amount of time I spend playing Borderlands is wasted.  But then again, this is coming from a kid that won’t miss an episode of Glee.

 What they (and many others) are missing is what a great learning experience I am having.  I’m discovering.  I’m exploring.  I’m learning new skills.  I’m completing tasks.  I’m winning achievements.  I’m organizing my resources.  The feedback is instantaneous.  My new found skills are recognized through leveling.  Yes, I am proud to get to the next level, no matter how funny my co-workers think my accomplishments are since pretty much any teen ager would do better than me in this game.

 My business partners have played these games all their lives.  Tom has been programming games since he was 5.  I find these guys share some common traits.  They are very creative.  They can take a hard challenge – like Living Ink and engaging reading comprehension mechanics for early readers that is our focus in ItzaBitza and ItzaZoo, – and solve them.  They can context switch very quickly.   I believe these traits – creativity, problems solving, context switching – are 21st century skills we all need to fine tune - have been heightened in these guys by playing such intense games.

Sure, the content in Borderlands is not appropriate for younger gamers.  That is why it is rated M (Mature – for 17 and older).  Like any form of entertainment or education, playing has to be monitored to some degree.  But with all that said, I’m impressed with the learning opportunities these games provide.

        

What Will YOU Draw in Your Haunted House?

It’s getting close to Halloween.  The kids are getting their costumes and anticipating that unmatched once a year sugar high.  One of the activities in my house is to play the Haunted House playset in ItzaBitza and see who can make the scariest pumpkins…

        

There are Reading Games and THEN There are the SATs

college-board-sat-practice-test
My daughter just finished an academic rights of passage.  She took the SATs.  Or – as I call them – Sad (but necessary) Academic Trauma Test.  Actually, she took the PSAT once, six practice SATs, and then two “the real things.”  Why so many times you ask?  Well, she never practiced free throws and she’s never had to shoot during clutch times.  “It’s like shooting free throws – it isn’t about your IQ, it’s a skill.”  I said so many times that even I got sick of hearing this.  I can’t really blame her when she growled at me, rolled her eyes, ran to her room, and shut her door in an attempt to block my incessant jabbering about what a game all this was.

brigham

I find it uncomfortably odd the the tests were originally termed the Scholastic APTITUDE Test.  The APTITUDE was changed to ASSESSMENT in 1990.  Even more unsettling to me is the background of the originator of the SAT.  The SAT has its roots with a psychologist at Princeton University, Carl Brighamthe leader of the committee that created the original SAT.  In his book, A Study of American Intelligence proclaimed the superiority and inferiority of the various races.  Surprise, Surprise!  Analyzing the data from the Army tests, Brigham came to the conclusion that native born Americans had the highest intelligence out of the groups tested.

The SATs have built an impressive industry.  “SAT practice” (without the quotes) and you get 24,600,000 hits!

Congratulations to those of you who breezed through these tests.  What does that tell us about you?  That you are good at the SAT skills?  Or you truly are better prepared for the workplace and hence should get into a better college?  Most likely a bit of both.  Or maybe neither.  I recall my own tortured time taking them.

levelup
But…WHAT IF…way before kids took the SATs – say back in pre-K, they started accumulating Experience Points?  Very similar to the scores they are familiar with playing video games and as they reached more advanced levels, they earned titles and trophies and acclaim for their mastery?  What if all the other kids new of their domain expertise and sought them out to help them learn whatever it is they have mastered – whether that be interpreting the meaning of poetry or the ability to make sense out of Calculus?

Your turn.  Try an original question from 1926 SAT test:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/sats/where/1926.html

        

ItzaBitza is now Available on the Mac!

mac-logo

I am totally thrilled to say ItzaBitza – our fantastically fun interactive drawing game in which players “accidentally” learn to read -  is now available for our friends with Macs!  The port to the Mac was done by the amazing folks at Virtual Programming (VP).  They even put up some cool ItzaBitza pics.  The only concern I have with these great folks is the amount of tea they seem to drink.  I mean, given they are located in England – I guess this makes sense.  But here I am, living in Seattle.  Always with a coffee cup by my side.

OK – I must confess.  Sure, I was at Microsoft for 18 years.  I have many Windows machines – almost all Windows 7.  Umm….both my daughters have Macs….and…umm….they really like them….and..umm….playing ItzaBitza on a Mac seems like such a natural experience.  I was giggling all over again as I drew the smallest door I could to see Sketchy shrink really small.  And then went over to the farm play set to put a triangle shaped tire on Sketchy’s tractor so that his ride takes a bizarre bumptity bump to it.

So this is for all you Mac folks who have persistently asked me when ItzaBitza will be available on Macs.  You can get your copy here.

        

Want to Play A REALLY FUN Reading Game? Make an Apple Pie!

apple-pie-ck-263456-l

First off, Happy 4th of July! This is a very special day for America. I thank all the troops – past and present – who have allowed our great country to remain the land of the free.  And for the most part coffee drinkers instead of all that tea the British would have us drink

It is also a day where my favorite foods are cooked and baked. Hamburgers, hot dogs….and….and….APPLE PIE!

Reading to get an Early Reader’s Just Desserts

If you have an early reader, why not have a fun reading experience with your child by baking an Apple Pie? It is a great opportunity for your early reader to experience a really fun aspect of reading – you get to make AND THEN EAT desserts. Seems to me there is a lot of intrinsic motivation in making desserts. I bet your child will try very hard to pronounce the words, understand what they are reading (with your help of course and not the help we have in our Itza games when you are not around!)…because of the high value the reward of eating the delicious Apple Pie THAT THEY MADE has.

So grab your favorite Apple Pie recipe and get your early reader engaged in reading so that they may get their just desserts!

For those of you that do not have a favorite Apple Pie recipe, I have included one that I like from the CookingLight.com web site:

Apple Pie

The slurry (a mixture of flour and water that’s whisked together) is the secret to keeping the low-fat crust tender.

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)

Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

6 tablespoons ice water

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

7 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Filling:

8 cups thinly sliced peeled Braeburn apples (about 8 medium)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

Remaining ingredients:

Cooking spray

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 450°.

To prepare crust, lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1/2 cup flour, ice water, and vinegar, stirring with a whisk until well blended to form a slurry. Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; cut in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add slurry; toss with a fork until flour mixture is moist.

Divide dough in half. Gently press each half into a 4-inch circle on 2 sheets of overlapping heavy-duty plastic wrap; cover with 2 additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll 1 dough half, still covered, into a 12-inch circle. Roll other dough half, still covered, into an 11-inch circle. Chill dough 10 minutes or until plastic wrap can be easily removed.

To prepare filling, combine the apples and lemon juice in a large bowl. Combine 2/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples; toss well to coat.

Remove top 2 sheets of plastic wrap from 12-inch dough circle; fit dough, plastic wrap side up, into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray, allowing dough to extend over edge. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Spoon filling into dough; brush edges of dough lightly with water.

Remove top 2 sheets of plastic wrap from 11-inch dough circle; place, plastic wrap side up, overfilling. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Press edges of dough together. Fold edges under, and flute. Cut 4 (1-inch) slits into top of pastry using a sharp knife. Brush top and edges of pie with egg white; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Place pie on a baking sheet; bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove pie from oven), and bake an additional 40 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

CALORIES 293 (29% from fat); FAT 9.6g (sat 2.4g,mono 4g,poly 2.5g); IRON 1.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 10mg; CARBOHYDRATE 50.1g; SODIUM 153mg; PROTEIN 3.3g; FIBER 2.5g

Cooking Light, JULY 2002