[Edu-sig] ACM Urges Obama to Include CS as Core Component ofScience, Math Education

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Tue Dec 30 07:59:15 CET 2008

On Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 7:41 PM, Edward Cherlin <echerlin at gmail.com> wrote:

<< SNIP >>

> Ken would have disagreed strongly with you. He got IBM to loan a
> school a 360 to teach elementary arithmetic with.

Oh don't get me wrong, I'm not against this kind of thing.  When we
get a prodigy, they sometimes call me in.  This kid at Winterhaven
(Portland's Hogwarts for geeks) had partitioned his laptop into five
OSes, including with DOS, was playing with all of em, got Putty on
WinNT in a classroom subnet to slave to his telnet server on the
ThinkPad.  Kid was eight years old (3rd grade).  Not saying I'm
unfamiliar with the breed or anything.  It's just you don't want to
make your whole pitch be about pandering to prodigies.  The grand
piano market would go bust if only Mozarts could get them.  The thing
about laptops is they're generically useful even if you *don't* care
at all about these computer languages right now (you might be too
bright for them, prefer learning human ones...).

>> What laptop would you give a Peruvian or Cambodian teen, if not an XO?
>>  Of course it should run Python, and of course it shouldn't ignore the
>> serious advances the XO represents.
> Take a look at the Encore Mobilis. Brazil is buying them. I worked for
> Encore at one time. I'm asking them about putting Sugar on it.

Yeah cool, that's the kind of suggestion I'm looking for.  How to pay
for these is a problem the private sector is waiting to see solved,
before jumping in, I understand the psychology.  There's a UN ban on
recruiting teens into military services (OK, an unenforced agreement),
but nothing similar against Girl Scouts right?


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