[plt-scheme] computers in elementary school

From: Bruce Butterfield (bab at entricom.com)
Date: Mon Oct 25 17:46:28 EDT 2004

I have a kid in fourth grade; she attends a private elementary school 
for gifted students. All in all I'm very pleased with the education she 
is receiving -- small class sizes and a well-trained and reasonably 
well-paid teaching staff make it a pretty nice place to be a student.

I am less happy with the "computer class" they attend once per week, for 
about an hour. It's kind of a mess; typing tutorials, math and reading 
"skills", and worst of all, lessons on building Powerpoint 
presentations. Now, personally, I think Powerpoint is a noxious virus 
leading to brain cancer and early onset Alzheimer's but sadly I'm in the 
minority on this.

Since you PLT folks have extensive experience training teachers to 
develop deep programming skills (read: critical thinking) in their 
students, do you have any thoughts on what would be an appropriate 
"computer class" for younger children? I'm not thinking so much of 
programming skills; more on the order of showing what kind of powerful 
tool it can be and what are its current limitations. Thanks for any 

Posted on the users mailing list.