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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RE: Learning Computers
by l3v1 on Mon 9th May 2011 11:16 UTC in reply to "Learning Computers"
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

All things you would cover with someone in a 2 hour computing 101 class.


When topics like this pop up, I always end up talking about my memories of "computer" classes back in the days (non-US). We were always taught languages and programming (I was in math/sci/cs-majoring classes between ages 12-18), and getting to know applications, OS perks, etc. were only a side effect. E.g. my very first "official" computer class (I think I was ~12 years old) was about learning basic (then pascal, then c, then c++ by then I was ~15), and that process involved learning to use the computer, then algorithms, later including architecture, peripherals, apps, etc.

Granted, bottom-up approaches won't work for everyone, but all things considered, I still think it's the better approach, of course depending on the age of the pupil/student.

What and how they teach these days is a lot of people's fault, including schools who hire cs-teachers who are very sub-par regarding required knowledge, which doesn't always get noticed, since those who hire them also think computer=ie+word+outlook. And even then, I know from the experiences with my younger sister, she had a lot of generic computer-using classes, but still, I had to show and teach her a lot of things which would've been required for basic computer use but which were not even remotely covered in class.

And let me - and forgive me for it - steam out my overall frustration with idiot teachers whose main purpose is to just spend their class-hours somehow and don't give a rat's ass about the usefulness of what they do or do not teach the kids during that time.

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