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Programming for kids

May 14, 2009, 13:33 (0 Talkback[s])

"Some of us are old - very, very old. Some of us remember teaching kids to program in a language called Logo which was, in its simplest form, a language used to control the movements of a "turtle" (actually a small triangular icon) on the computer screen. As the kids learned more of the language and grasped the building blocks of programming such as looping, they could begin to create prettier and prettier graphics. Eventually, of course, real life came calling, and beat them up for being such nerds. Such is the hard life of a budding computer programmer.

"Lest I get a ton of angry emails, let me declare right now that, yes indeed, I do know that Logo was capable of far more than prancing turtles. As the Wikipedia article on the subject says, some people considered Logo to be Lisp without the irritating parentheses. But at that time, drawing cool graphics on the screen was as far as most people ever got with it. Anyway, Logo is now long gone as far as most people are concerned, and since the advent of the web, the Wii, the iPhone and all the other wonders of the modern world, no-one has the time to learn a programming language when all they're going to get out of it at the end is a few primitive patterns. If you're going to teach kids to program nowadays you've got to find something that will allow them to build real-looking applications as fast as possible."

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