[Edu-sig] slashdot: Teaching Primary School Students Programming?
kirby.urner at gmail.com
Tue Aug 29 00:38:32 CEST 2006
On 8/28/06, ajsiegel at optonline.net <ajsiegel at optonline.net> wrote:
> Cynical Arthur would welcome the ability to exercise his imagination in the
> creation of animated cartoons that expressed his imagination, by way of
> computer technology.
Good. Cynical Kirby looks forward to viewing some of Cynical Arthur's cartoons.
> Except that his imagination is his own (everybodys' is) , and he would
> expect to need to wait until an appropriate age and undergo some serious
> study before such an ability were accessible to him.
Yes, Arthur knows that skills come in exchange for hard work. Even
prodigies need to practice. Use it or lose it.
> The kind of study, in fact, that I suspect college students at CMU expect to
> have to undertake to be able to utilize Panda3d - a serious tool for doing this
> kind of thing.
Yes, Panda3d is hard and you need some adult-level patience to master
the tool (which I really haven't by the way).
But is that any reason to not look for *much easier* ways to the same
ends? Like, if we weren't *lying* about wanting to actually see their
cartoons, shouldn't we *stop* with the bait and switch?
I think you're pointing to the *means* (hard work) as the worthy goal.
I'm agreeing but saying: let's not lose site of the *ends* (lots of
good cartoons -- some of them by kids much younger than could make
them before (that in itself is new territory)).
I think there will always be that next sought-after skill at the other
end of some hard work rainbow.
But I'm not into making kids sweat it just to do what we did, an
I *want* them to look at all our hard work... and make it look easy
(call me an optimist, but I think we're still evolving as a species).
They'll have *new* hard stuff to tackle, not just the same stuff we
did (like, how to make those cartoons *funny* -- a whole new ball
> Young cynical Arthur had a good sense of when he was been humored and
> indulged, and never really liked it much.. A lot of my take and talk is trying to be
> sensitive to young Arthur's needs - since I have no reason to believe that
> they were extraordinary, nor was he.
I like your young Arthur and want him to be pandered to too. :-D
I think we share a certain affinity for "no frills" experiences that
pack a wallop, in terms of straight information content. You want the
jet boat, not the cushy cruise liner.
Where I think this must be heading is towards a more individualized
curriculum, with lots of trail heads. It's still a mix of live and
in-the-can recordings, but you're freer to string the beads in the
order you like, instead of the order some distant Kid Factory decided
was best for you.
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