a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
low_ho_fosho  ·  2089 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What The Next Generation Needs Is Math, Not Programming

I don't think the subjects should even be separated. Programming is math, essentially, just a bit more abstract. It's fun, it's relevant, and it can even give kids a creative outlet as they become more proficient. Assign a kid the task of creating a simple video game from scratch and you can teach a huge array of skills: logical thinking, math, computer literacy, etc. Or maybe if a kid runs into a math problem they don't understand, encourage them to write a program to help solve it. As they're starting calculus, walk them through writing a program that estimates the area under a curve by calculating the areas of a bunch of different rectangles, than show them how if they increase the variable denoting the number of rectangles to use, they can get a more accurate answer.

Maybe I'm just projecting myself onto these kids. I loved making dumb little games growing up, and that allowed me to understand subjects like trigonometry (how do I get this character to look at my mouse pointer?) in a much more intimate way than had I only learned from the homework problems in my textbooks.