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Microsoft Education Programming

Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office? 226

Posted by samzenpus
from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-children? dept.
theodp (442580) writes "Over at Microsoft on the Issues, Microsoft continues to lament the computer programming skills gap of American kids, while simultaneously lobbying for more H-1B visas to fill that gap. Saying that states must do more to 'help students gain critical 21st century skills,' Microsoft credits itself and partner Code.org for getting 30,606,732 students to experience coding through the Hour of Code, claiming that K-12 kids have 'written 1,332,784,839 lines of code' (i.e., dragged-and-dropped puzzle pieces), So, if it's concerned about helping students gain programming skills, shouldn't Microsoft be donating fully-functional desktop versions of MS-Office to schools, which would allow kids to use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)? While Microsoft's pledge to give 12 million copies of its Office software to schools was heralded by the White House and the press, a review of the 'fine print' at Microsoft suggests it's actually the online VBA-free version of Office 365 Education that the kids will be getting, unless their schools qualify for the Student Advantage program by purchasing Office for the faculty and staff. Since Microsoft supported President Obama's call for kids to 'Don't Just Play on Your Phone, Program It', shouldn't it give kids the chance to program MS-Office, too?"
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Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office?

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  • by gtall (79522) on Monday April 07, 2014 @11:22AM (#46684055)

    Well, in fairness to your daughter, you'll be getting dumber and dumber until she hits about 21. Then you'll start getting smarter again. If I were you, I'd use the "dumb time" to pick up some high return hobbies so you'll be ready for her when she hits 21.

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Monday April 07, 2014 @11:33AM (#46684191)

    So...which of those titles are included with every copy of Windows?

    Why does it have to come with the OS? What does that even matter these days, when everything is a download away.Almost half the products I listed are available direct from MS without going through Dreamspark:

    Just a simple download away. You can even download [visualstudio.com] Visual Studio Express for free to develop for web, desktop, or Windows Phone. This is a great place for kids to start. When they're ready for advanced features, they can move over to the full version through Dreamspark.

    Which of those provide kids with a simple and powerful way to create something impressive?

    Take your pick. There's something for all levels. Smallbasic and Kodu Game Lab are products for beginners. Next level up they can use Robotics studio or XNA Game Lab. Kinect SDK is very powerful and easy to use as well with lots of example code.

    If Bill Gates was a teenager now, he would be on xbox live and there never would have been any Microsoft.

    Many gamers are very keen to make their own games, but they don't know how. MS provides tools for this. I've taught many middle / high school students how to program robots using MS Robotics studio and the Kinect SDK, and they love it. It's amazing the kind of stuff they come up with.

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