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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by Brendan on Sun 8th May 2011 07:07 UTC
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Roughly the first 10 years of school (up until a child is about 15 years old) should be teaching general things that apply to a large number of different occupations, like maths, language (English or whatever), typing/word processing, web-browser (and search engine) usage, etc.

Any information that is only relevant to a small number of specific occupations is not "general" and should not be included in these years of school. This includes computer programming (and electronics, mechanical engineering, aerodynamics, accountancy, law, architecture, etc).

Complaining that an 11-year-old boy can't program is as stupid as complaining that the same 11-year-old isn't a qualified plumber, diesel mechanic, accountant or veterinarian. That's what tertiary education (universities, trade schools, etc) are for - to teach stuff that is only relevant to specific occupations.

- Brendan

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