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How to choose programming languages for learners: Reviewing JavaScript and Ready

20 Jun

Computing Education Blog

My Blog@CACM post for June is Five Principles for Programming Languages for Learners. The five principles I identify are:

  1. Connect to what learners know
  2. Keep cognitive load low
  3. Be honest
  4. Be generative and productive
  5. Test, don’t trust

I wrote the essay in response to Idid Harel’s influential essay American schools are teaching our kids how to code all wrong. There were many responses to Idit’s essay, on social media and in other blogs. Much of the discussion focused on text programming languages vs. drag-and-drop, blocks-based languages, which I don’t think is the most critical distinction.

In this post, I respond to two of the suggestions that came up in some of these discussions. I use the five principles to review the suggestions.

JavaScript

If we were going to teach a professional language to students, JavaScript is attractive. It’s free and ubiquitous, available in every Web browser. There are many…

View original post 1,123 more words

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Posted by on June 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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