Stephen Loosley StephenLoosley at outlook.com
Mon Nov 21 13:29:47 AEDT 2016

On Sunday 20 November 2016 18:54:28 Andy wrote:

> In a discussion about acronyms on IRC this weekend we brought up the BASIC computer
> language. This link was posted, a great read, and brings back many memories: "Fifty Years
> of BASIC, the Programming Language That Made Computers Personal"
> http://time.com/69316/basic/

And David writes,

>  My latest programming project (:-) was to write a couple of extensions to the LibreOffice
>  spreadsheet package in Java.  The documentation on how to do this is pretty turgid but the
>  actual integration is excellent, and includes "help" documentation, prompting on command
> entry, etc.  David L.

And, t’s only taken 50 years .. but at least some Aussie schools will be preparing kids for the digital age

“Coding classes to become mandatory in Queensland schools”

By Lexy Hamilton-Smith<http://www.abc.net.au/news/lexy-hamilton-smith/7825508>

Queensland children as young as four will learn coding and robotics as a compulsory part of their education from next year.

Parents will not be able to "opt" children out of digital learning classes. Educators argue the classes will equip the children with the skills they will need for the jobs of the future, ensuring they can read and write the global language of the digital age.

State Education Minister Kate Jones said she believed her department would have the balance right, with mandatory digital learning from Prep to Year 10.

"We are on a learning journey ourselves but I think when you crunch the numbers in regards to the skills young people are going to need in the future, then we owe it to them to help them take part in the digital economy," she said.

Computer coding is already part of the primary curriculum in England, Belgium, Finland, Estonia and the Netherlands.

Griffith University's dean of education Donna Pendergast said the rollout was being fast-tracked in Queensland schools.

"So I think Queensland could make some claims nationally to be leading the way in this area," she said.

At Oakleigh State School, Prep students are already dabbling in coding, learning to create algorithms and working on computational thinking.

Digital learning coordinator Nicola Flanagan said it was play-based learning.

"The children pick it up very quickly," she said.

"As soon as they can pick up a device they are using them for various purposes.

"So what we do in Prep is take them to the next level.

"We have kids in Prep who are animating little stories that enhance their understanding of concepts of English for example."

"It is indisputable that digital literacy skills will play a role in whatever they do.

"And that does not mean every child is going to be a coder."

"But I do think a knowledge of digital literacy, digital skills, is going to enhance their ability to perform and work in the future."

She was also keen to allay parents' fears that compulsory coding would spell the end to pen and paper.

"Technology is going to be used when it is the best tool for the job," she said.

"And I think sometimes pen and paper or paper and pencil are the best tools for the job."



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