Linked by David Adams on Sun 8th May 2011 04:15 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Well-known game developer David Braben is a little bit fed up with the state of computer science education these days, which seems to have shifted away from learning programming to some sort of computer-oriented "life skills" class. As the father of eleven and nine year-old boys, I can attest that so far, despite a massive investment on the part of their school in computer equipment, their computer education has consisted mostly of "play this math game" and "don't be victimized by cyber-perverts." Braben's idea to stem this tide: a very, very cheap computer that students can learn to program on.
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The new magic
by Elv13 on Sun 8th May 2011 05:34 UTC
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Priest used to use magic / god power to heal and control society. Rather than learning it, they were told to rely on it and have faith.

How could this have come down to the same thing with computer. We all hate the statement I just made, it look out of place, but it's not that much. For now over 99.9% of computer users (cell phone and digital life gadgets included), technology just work, how it work is some kind of sorcery, but it work! They have faith in that. They fear it and love it just as just as religious messengers teaches older generation to do. This is ridiculous. Who did this? Computer Guru? No. Steve Jobs may be responsible for the whole think different things and technology that doesn't get in the way, but he is not responsible for the decrease of interest in CS.

How do you expect teachers and education decision maker to teach student CS? They have blind faith in tech, they don't care how it work. So the end result is that they teach kids how not to care about it. It's their job: pass knowledge to younger generations. Not just basic language/science/math, but opening to social concepts too. I may be too young myself (22) to have lived the era when CS was an obscure science and the only one able to teach it were true geeks and "normal" teachers had no idea how to use it, but it is not the case anymore (if it ever was like that). When I was in elementary school (with DOS) it was already too late. The CS teacher was out everyday teacher and we had a menu based locked down frontend over the shell to launch those stupid and boring math games. I had to learn it by myself, first my dissecting Window95, getting to know -all- build in features along the way, then the internet came home, that was great (but off topic to this comment).

Its like the evolution theory, as soon as those who have the faith in something infiltrate the higher layers of decision, they make it easier for the other to go that way and it go on an on. It's how society work, how ideology gain traction. The new reality is that CS is not important anymore from their POV, they could "teach" it while being totally illiterate to the basic concepts. How to change this? Let's all register in college next month to become elementary school teachers!... Nobody is in? Too bad, so things wont change anytime soon.

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