Global Constant
Steve Nay's ramblings

Teaching kids to program

Benjamin Pollack wrote yesterday about “Learning coding from boredom.” I love his ideas about teaching programming:

I first learned to program in BASIC on the VTech PreComputer Prestige. The things I wrote were simple Fahrenheit-to-Celsius conversions, guess-the-number-I’m-thinking programs, but they were really cool in the mind of an elementary school kid. Once my dad got me a copy of Visual Basic 2 that would run on our real Packard Bell Navigator Windows 3.11 computer, I was in heaven.

My junior high had two great programming classes. We didn’t do much theory, but Mr. Ferrin taught us a good balance of programming practice and Visual Basic GUIs. The high school had one class in the business department that tacked on VB6 for a measly two or three weeks, but like Benjamin, I knew nobody who actually liked programming after taking that class.

A few of my friends had great computer science teachers in high school, but most of them gained their love of programming by solving their own problems outside a formal programming course. Secondary education is ripe for reform in computer science curricula.

I might just do that.

Older article
Designer founders