[plt-scheme] 3rd-8th Grade

From: Matt Jadud (mcj4 at kent.ac.uk)
Date: Sat Mar 18 12:42:05 EST 2006

I would argue that children at that age should be encouraged to have as 
many positive interactions with computers that involve programming-like 
activities as possible. "Positive," to me, means "authentic," 
"constructive," and "fun."

The visual environments for the LEGO (the native language and ROBOLAB) 
can be outgrown quickly, and the most recent version of ROBOLAB has a 
compiler that is, effectively, broken. (I can do a lot of things in the 
environment that shouldn't be allowed/generate code that I can't predict 
the behavior of.) That said, the visual languages for the Mindstorms 
have a near-flat learning curve. If you're running a once-a-week club 
that involves kids aged 8-13(ish), this is probably a good place to start.

That's my experience, anyway, having used the Mindstorms in classrooms 
at the elementary, high-school, and university level both in the US and 
the UK. Your milage may vary.


Richard Cleis wrote:

> I wonder, though, about the 100% drag-drop programming.  I am neither a 
> father nor an educator, so I am asking those who are: shouldn't the 
> children at least see some words that cause the movements, if not be 
> encouraged to type a few?

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