[Edu-sig] Programming in High School
ajudkis at verizon.net
Tue Dec 9 04:47:28 CET 2008
Well, I'm a high school teacher, and today we started to learn about
programming in my 10th grade "Principles of Computer Technology" class.
I tell them that we do it because it's a good intellectual skill to
develop, it builds their problem solving and critical thinking
abilities, it's fun, and they might be able to use it someday. We start
off with RUR-PLE, which I've been using with great success for several
I don't try to turn them into programmers -- I just try to diminish
their utter clueless about how programming works, and give them a sense
of the possibilities. I would like the handful who might want to pursue
it to have a good first exposure to it, of course. I'm always hoping
that someone will really take to it, and come back and show me cool
things that they've done on their own, but so far (four years now, about
300 kids) it hasn't happened once.
I really do worry about the world that these kids are going into, and
what kinds of opportunities they're going to have. As Guido implies,
the really sharp ones will thrive, but what about the rest of them/us?
My best advice to them is to stay out of debt, and not expect to be as
wealthy as their parents. I hope that they can find something that they
care about to do for a living, and that that will be enough.
Demographics, deficits, and environmental concerns are just going to
make their lives tougher. Their real problems are not going to be
solved because they learned Python instead of Java.
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