Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's about computer literacy

David Brin wrote an article about how computer users (kids in particular) need an easy language like BASIC again, and it should come with the computer. Read it all here http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2006/09/14/basic/index.html

I absolutely agree with Mr. Brin's stance. The trouble isn't that there aren't tons of programming languages to choose from, many of them free. The problem is that the computer doesn't come with an easy language. And if it did come out of the box (like DOS had QBasic), it really should be an icon on the desktop. Hiding it away would be a bad thing.

Also the programming culture worships complexity. What the professional programmer today considers easy sets a bar way too high for the child or casually interested adult. The result is that the fun is removed from the experience. No fun = no learning.

Schools today think that computer literacy is about using Photoshop, Microsoft Office and Frontpage. That's a low-minded place to be. Teach kids to program. Some of them will latch onto the experience.

4 comments:

kabalweg said...

I agree with both of you. More and more teens, and even grade schoolers now are in to computer programming...


KaBalweg
http://smartcoder.co.nr

Carl Gundel said...

I hope you're right, but the industry and the educational culture don't really seem to appreciate how important this is. It shouldn't just be easy to get if you're interested, but it should also be promoted energetically.

Bill said...

I agree whole-heartedly. More kids my age (high-school) should be programming.

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