[Tutor] Python as Application (OT now)

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at freenet.co.uk
Sun Oct 30 17:23:11 CET 2005

> Papers are generally poorly formatted. Things like using the space
> bar or tab key to center things. Then even when the docs do open
> up, the formatting is all askew.
This is one of my pet peeves. Many so called MS Office training 
courses barely touch on the use of paragraph formats, very few 
go into them in any depth and yet they are fundamental to consistent 
documemnts easily produced. The whole concept of styles is missed 
by many users - even the IT students we employ on vacation training....

> Perhaps if teachers thought more about the _abstraction_ of a word
> processor and the _abstraction_ of a spreadsheet, and focused on
> how these tools are best used  --  instead of focusing on how to
> use the specific implementations -- we would have fewer problems,
> and more capable students.

Absolutely correct. The same is true of programming however. 
Too many programming courses teach a language rather than programming.

There is no difference between a course teaching programming 
students Python and one teaching business students Excel IMHO.
Teach the principles, illustrate with a tool (or better several tools)
and you get a much more effective student.

Alan G
Author of the learn to program web tutor

> To me, programming is all about abstraction.
> Thanks for your time.
> (please follow up to edu-sig)
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