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Click Here to Read a Great Article on Programming and Education
Below is a snapshot of the article:
1. SUBJECT MASTERY
A primary use of programming is to lead a user through the acquisition of knowledge, whether it’s through a traditional lesson or an educational game like those created by Blazes and Hounyo. To lead a user through a range of possible options requires a coder to understand all those options and their implications. Blazes, for example, had to master the basic principals of genetics before creating his game, while Hounyo’s team had to learn about the principals of electricity.
2. SYSTEMS THINKING
Whether writing code to lead a player through a game or a robot up a pyramid, the programming process requires an understanding of how possible inputs and outcomes effect one another. Further, as students move from their first programming language to others, they also learn what organizational elements are universal and what elements may be specific to a particular coding language.
“They’re all sort of the same grammatical structures, and there are sort of different dialects, key words, or quirks to them that you sort of have to learn,” Blazes said of the coding languages he’s learned.
Most programming projects are multiple-person efforts because the pursuit lends itself well to specialization. For example, if a group of students are creating an educational game, one may have a firmer grasp of the subject matter, while another may be the head coder, and the third may be the visual artist. Some students are actually drawn into programming because of collaborative environments.
“I joined my school robotics team, and we did an awesome first season, and I got hooked to robotics ever since,” Hounyo said. “There are students and mentors working together, and they program the robot to do different tasks, from basic to higher levels.”
Both Blazes and Hounyo pursued programming out of their own interest, and suggested not all of their school classmates would be engaged by a formal computer programming education. But they also said the constructive nature of programming allows students who are passionate about it to harness that interest and take it as far as they might dare.
“Programming is fun to me,” Blazes said. “It’s something that I can sort of do and have fun and work on, and I can feel a sort of sense of accomplishment when I start working on stuff and even finish something.”