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  1. Bruce Armstrong

    I would be concerned that the schools would end up using some language that was easy to teach, rather than something there is an actual use for.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_educational_programming_languages

    And given the rate of change in the industry, how to do teach something to kids when they’re in elementary school that has any use when they graduate from college.

    On the other hand, we might end up with a ten or hundred fold increase in kiddie scrips being run

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Script_kiddie

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    1. Aron Cox

      I suspect the vast majority will be bored out of their minds. I’ve worked places where people with any degree were hired as programmers, from History to French, and like anything else if you’re not really interested then it’s not going to stick.

      I suppose the idea is to get those who may be interested early. I mean I didn’t use a computer at school until I got to University!

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      1. Matt Balent Post author

        The ‘computer’ I used at University either connected via an acoustic coupler or generated output to a line printer…

        However, if the content of the courses is relevant to the youth in the class (games like Minecraft for example) they will certainly be interested.

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        1. Bruce Armstrong

          The only computer class I had in college was in Fortran and we entered the program into the computer through punch cards.  Complete waste of time.  I was already doing programming on 6502 processor based machines at the time using BASIC.  They were using the technology they had available, which was completely irrelevant to what was happening outside the college.

          I bought one of my grandkids a java tutorial based on Minecraft.  She really liked it.

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    2. David Peace

      I’m a governor at the local primary school and we received the directive to teach coding to all children. I managed to intervene and stop them teaching actual coding. I suggested it would be better to teach the skills needed for coding.

      We agreed to teach them problem solving and mapping processes to develop their logical thinking. Let them apply these skills to actual coding later in life it interested them to do so.

      The local Grammar school is teaching Python which is not too bad, but the teachers know very little about the concepts of programming so I wonder what value the experience is to the children.

      It’s all good fun 🙂

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  2. Patrice Domange

    At the time I was in Primary School 3th grade, in Belgium, at the age of 10 in the 80’s, we were enrolled in a Experimentation trying to learn Programmatic Concept using the LOGO language, from UC Berkeley. Until the end of the 6th grade, we were working 4 hours per weeks. Usually, it was a bundle of 2 hours, in the first we were introduced new LOGO commands and during the second we were invited to experiment what we could do with what we have just learned before.

    The next couple of hours, was dedicated to elaborate what we have decided to do with our pair. Of course, we were framed by our teacher and psychologists (both specially formed for this), and from time to time, we had the visit of Seymour Papert, that was travelling in entire European Continent, to supervise all this. If our project was not finished, we were invited to continue it but also to integrate the new things learned in between.

    It was great times, where we learn to think logically, to analyse what we want to do and how to achieve it, how to express it to people, how to present the results of our works, how to integrate the remarks of our pairs, How to split the work, being able to work alone in its corner, then integrate our work with the one of our pair, etc.

    Of course, we start by driving the turtle on the Ground, with push cards to learn the basic, then with the turtle on the screen, then loop, procedure, function, decision, list handling, etc.

    The important think about that, is not so the language itself, is to truly learn and integrate the concepts, and how to interact with our environment to achieve our goals.

    It worked fine because we could see immediately what happened with the turtle, where we make an error (learning is based on try and error). Most of the time, when we had finished our logo project, our teacher and Psys encouraged us to try to make it in GWBasic, LIPS, Fortran, etc.

    And of course we were having fun !!!

    I must say, I’m certainly the only one of my class being Professional Developer, but all the others (that I could encounter many years later) agreed that it help them to learn new thing more easily, to be able to work alone or in team, etc.

    Today my children, In Secondary School have PC labs two hours per weeks, browsing on the net or using Learning Software, etc. But certainly not to programs anything! What a shame !!!

    So to conclude, learning programmatic concept at school is a great thing, but never forget that the used language is only the tool, the media, to “materialize” what we are doing, but please do not specialize them in the last “En vogue” language…

    For me START with LOGO then go to C, then any other language but use one that can learn the REAL GOOD BASE of PROGRAMMATIC CONCEPT.

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    1. Matt Balent Post author

      Thanks for sharing!

      Learning to ‘think’ like a programmer is not easy.  Anyone can learn the basic syntax of a programming language in a few days.

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