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Education Programming Ruby

Zuckerberg Shows Kindergartners Ruby Instead of JavaScript 144

Posted by timothy
from the presto-changeout dept.
theodp writes "If one was introducing coding to 10 million K-12 kids over 5 days, one might settle on a programming language for examples more than a few weeks before D-Day. But the final tutorials for the Hour of Code aren't due now until the day they're to be taught, so Code.org was able to switch the example Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg uses to illustrate Repeat Loops from JavaScript to what looks like Ruby (earlier /. discussion of the JavaScript example), which will no doubt make things clearer for the kindergarten set working on the accompanying Angry Birds tutorial. Khan Academy, on the other hand, is sticking with JavaScript for its Hour of Code tutorial aimed at middle-schoolers, which culminates in a project showing the kids how they can draw a circular plate by invoking an ellipse function with equal major and minor axes. By the way, as Bret Victor might point out, the 2013 Khan Academy lesson looks a lot like circa-1973 PLATO!"
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Zuckerberg Shows Kindergartners Ruby Instead of JavaScript

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  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 01, 2013 @09:42AM (#45567405)

    If one was writing a summary, one might settle on a summary that explained the point it was trying to make rather than providing a set of disconnected statements...

  • At Long Last... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 01, 2013 @09:49AM (#45567437)

    Ruby finds it's niche. IIRC Twitter switched anything that mattered from ruby to scalar / JVM the very moment their platform became more than a toy.

    He'd probably be better off showing them javascript, no need to install 3rd party software. Kids already have access to all runtime libraries and development tools with a web browser and a text editor. Really makes no sense to show them ruby.

  • Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @09:50AM (#45567443) Homepage

    Is it just me that thinks that, when aiming at kids, BASIC still probably is the easiest language to understand (if not the most rigorous)?

    The first example is just HORRENDOUS anyway - boilerplater and ternary crap getting in the way. The second is simplified using specific language facilities and objects.

    So what would have been wrong with a BASIC-like:

    FOR EACH USER IN USERS
            SENDMESSAGE(USER, "Happy Birthday")
    NEXT USER

    As I get older, I believe more and more than the creators of BASIC knew what they were doing, and make something kids and beginners could understand quickly even if it wasn't perfect.

  • 10 years from now (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 01, 2013 @10:15AM (#45567535)

    Kids will be choosing to work at a McD's or writing JavaScript code. This is all tech industry's goal of making programming and development a skilled trade - much lower paying trade.

  • Re:Sigh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BenfromMO (3109565) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @10:23AM (#45567557)

    As I get older, I believe more and more than the creators of BASIC knew what they were doing, and make something kids and beginners could understand quickly even if it wasn't perfect.

    Well said, and I agree. The hint for me is in the name of the language. For children, you want something that gives near instant gratification and which they can understand as they go. Even the horrendous goto statements allow children to see clearly where things go...and so with children its probably is the best bet. You are not trying to train good programming quite yet at this level, you just want to interest children, so why not go with something that is not the buzz of the week?

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @11:21AM (#45567811)

    So what's the fucking point? Where's the science that says year old kids have the essential wiring and have mastered the prerequisite skills to understand computer programming?

    Christ! you're trying to teach the little bastards to read and now they're supposed to write code before they can write coherent sentences and spell?

  • by binarylarry (1338699) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @11:26AM (#45567847)

    I hope to god this post is some kind of bizarre troll attempt.

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