[Edu-sig] As We May Think: What will we automate?
bert at freudenbergs.de
Mon Mar 23 13:33:52 CET 2009
On 23.03.2009, at 10:38, kirby urner wrote:
> Not really directed at Turtle Art proposal no.
> I think [...] that there's a backlash against lexical coding as that
Not at all, in my opinion. It's not against having to type, it's about
covering distance one step at a time.
I like to compare the issue to this: When kids first start to
understand and speak themselves, it would be quite detrimental if they
were forced to use correct grammar or even speak the punctuation out
loud from the beginning. They will have enough time to learn that
later, after the basics of language are internalized.
When you introduce the concept of programming, learning the syntax is
only one of the challenges the student has to master. If you can focus
on statements, sequences, passing arguments etc first without having
to introduce syntax at the same time, you remove one big hurdle.
Now Python is simpler than most popular languages but I'd still say it
is a needless complication for beginners. The best argument for
starting with Python anyway is that that the available graphical tools
are insufficient. Most of them are a dead end, they do not lead
seamlessly from the graphical representation to the textual one. I
actually have quite some hopes for Alice 3 (although regrettably they
chose Java instead of Python as in Alice 1).
- Bert -
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