Homework help requested (not what you think!)
Albert van der Horst
albert at spenarnc.xs4all.nl
Thu Jul 18 14:47:42 CEST 2013
In article <mailman.4786.1374021635.3114.python-list at python.org>,
Chris Angelico <rosuav at gmail.com> wrote:
>On Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM, John Ladasky
><john_ladasky at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>> I think that they're disappointed when I show them how much they have to
>understand just to write a program that plays Tic Tac Toe.
>The disillusionment of every novice programmer, I think. It starts out
>as "I want to learn programming and make a game". Real programming is
>more like "I can automate mundane tasks", which doesn't sound half as
>exciting. But this is why I'm dubious of programming courses that
>actually try to hold onto the "let's make a game" concept, because the
>students are likely to get a bit of a let-down on realizing that it
>really doesn't work that easily ("this is a two-week course, at the
>end of it I should have written the next <insert name of popular game>
>for all my friends").
Now comes the Forth experience.
I did the following experiment with a psychology student, who had
never been exposed to computers and had no prior experience. He
aquired a Jupiter Ace, which has Forth as a built in language. So his
only exposure was to Forth. Now I started to teach him programming,
using the cartoon book "starting Forth". Once in a weeek we sat
together and worked through some exercises.
After 6 weeks he surprised me. He had programmed the game pong
which is a simple table tennis like game, where you have to
keep a ball in play.
He never gave me a a chance to prevent him having a traumatic experience
of failure by telling him that was not a task a novice should start.
Or for that matter that such any real time programming requires considerable
up front planning and design.
[This was an adult, and at the time university students in the
Netherlands were certified intelligent and skilled and disciplined
The lesson that is in there for you is to not hold your students back.
They may surprise you!
Albert van der Horst, UTRECHT,THE NETHERLANDS
Economic growth -- being exponential -- ultimately falters.
albert at spe&ar&c.xs4all.nl &=n http://home.hccnet.nl/a.w.m.van.der.horst
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