[LINK] The IT kiddies
Fri, 11 Feb 2000 16:39:54 +1100
At 10:14 AM +1100 11/2/2000, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
>OK. Let's imagine that computing goes where we keep telling each other it's
>going: an information free-for-all, with info and apps accessed by appliances.
>Question: who the hell could argue with a straight face that we need
>primary school to address Food Processor Literacy? Washing Machine
>Skills? Yet in the info-appliance vision, that's the equivalent.
My three sons make money writing software. Lots of it. We had a TRS-80 with
16k of RAM and an 8bit z80 CPU in the late 70's. If they wanted games they
typed in listings when we could find them and debugged them otherwise they
wrote them themselves. If they wanted them to run fast they wrote in
assembler or directly in hex. We hand dissassembled much of the ROM
together to find useful routines we could use.
Computing skills are not about knowing how to use a mouse, understand a
file system or use a WP package. Computing skills are about understanding
algorithms and symbolic representation of abstractions of other things.
Ironically my youngest son, who we used to shoo away telling him he was too
young (7), watched what we were doing. He now writes compilers.
Computer literacy in schools is more likely to teach people to make toast
and lots of other more interesting things that it is to enable them to use
computers in any depth.
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