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Programming languages in schools - The Ex-Communicator

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January 22nd, 2012

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10:14 am - Programming languages in schools
I have just written a post on the new computing curriculum for schools. People might be interested in the list of suggested programming languages. This is not mandated, but I think it is interesting. It is found on page 13.
Every student should have repeated opportunities to design, write, run and debug an executable program. What an executable program means can range widely depending on the level of the student and the amount of time available. The following are included in programming:

  • Small domain-specific languages, such as instructions to a simple robot, or Logo-style turtle.

  • Visual languages such as Scratch BYOB or Kodu.

  • Text-based languages, such as C#, C++, Java, Pascal, PHP, Python, Visual Basic, and so on.

  • Scripting languages, such as shell scripts, Flash ActionScript, or JavaScript.

  • Spreadsheet formulae

I do not know how actual teachers will approach this issue. Teachers in general will be out of their depth here. If I were to get involved, let us say as a writer, I would probably use Javascript as the exemplar. I would be interested in the opinions of anyone who works in programming.

(37 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2012 01:15 pm (UTC)
I am not an actual teacher, but this is how I would approach this:

"Repeated opportunities" = at least three times during their school life?

I mis-read "Logo-style turtle" as "Lego-style turtle", so I would buy some programmable bricks, and get people to make turtles..... There are great online communities, I understand, and teaching the children how to ask for help online / give help online is surely enough, I won't actually have to know anything!

Spreadsheet formulae is another easy one with lots of online teach-yourself stuff.

And then I would give up with the list and teach flowcharting and process design.

[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2012 02:48 pm (UTC)
I think Logo is a nice language for little kids, and the turtle rushing about the floor. People scorn it though.
[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
I ran-away-and-looked-up Logo and can't see why it is scorned. But then, it's at my level!

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