Tag Archives: Programming

Why scratch is overused

Firstly let me say one thing, I think scratch is a good little tool to get people into programming, however I think it is overused because when I did scratch/programming in I.T we only did Scratch, we didn’t move onto any programming languages after everyone was comfortable , we just did Scratch, nothing else.

So I think that my school and schools all over the U.K are misusing scratch as scratch wasn’t designed to replace traditional programming as you can’t export a normal .exe file, it was just designed to get people into programming. There were quite a few people in my class who really did enjoy scratch but they never moved onto an actual programming language like Python or C, probably because they had no idea how to start it or that it isn’t too difficult to learn. I’m sure that if they did start teaching programming right after scratch then quite a few people would of found it difficult,  but school is meant to be difficult, it’s meant to challenge you to let you learn new things, not just let you sit on your arse all day and learn nothing new.

I’ve got another example of simple WYSWIG drag and drop type editors being used in school, when my class was learning how to make websites using Microsoft Expression Web, so everyone including me got along dragging and dropping elements onto the page, but I hated the software so I shut it down opened Dreamweaver and started writing my website, and I did have to teach my self quite a bit of JavaScript  and some CSS but I ended up with a website that I was quite pleased with, not only because I thought it looked quite nice but I learned lots of useful CSS and JavaScript, but when people who were using Expression web asked me “how can I do something” I had no idea how to do it using the GUI sometimes I just didn’t know how to do it  but more often than not you physically cannot do it without going into the actual code of the website, and when I did that everyone was very scared at the code because it was filled with loads of WYSWIG junk code and they simply had no idea what any of it meant as they weren’t taught what them clicking lots of buttons on the GUI would actually do to the code and as a result them seeing the code, I’m sure they joined the club of people who think that all forms of programming is way too difficult for everyone, so they never look into it. Which is a real shame.

So while I think scratch is a useful tool to get people interested in programming in schools, teachers must take the extra step and actually teach them how to program, as I think when the people in this generation are working there will be a huge lack of programmers, which lots of I’m sure quite a few people would be surprised at, as many people call this generation the “Technology native generation” but I think that label is false, sure if you give an iPad to most kids they’ll be playing games in minutes but they don’t actually understand how those games work and they have no interest in looking into it, so I think people should stop calling this generation “technology native” as that label is wrong, the people who grew up with the first computers that run DOS are “Technology native” as they understand how computers work, not this generation.

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Why I started coding, again.

At the moment I am learning to write C, for the second time. The first time didn’t go so well, as my compiler kept on stopping, and I just didn’t really feel like I was making much progress. So instead I learned HTML, CSS and a tiny bit of Javascript, and now I think I am fairly competent at HTML and CSS but I still wanted to be able to write an actual programming language as both HTML and CSS are pretty easy once you understand the basic rules.

I also have recently started learning Javascript at code academy because I only knew very little of it before. Admittedly I was a little bit sceptical of how good code academy was going to be, because  I first started learning HTML on a website like that, and it took me a bit too long to learn it because I had questions that weren’t answered on the page and when I tried googiling them I couldn’t find the answer because I didn’t have the right words to describe my question. But it turns out that code academy is great it goes at the right pace, and it explains all of the functions perfectly, so to anyone thinking of using Code academy to learn to code I would definitely recommend it and I think that if I learned HTML there then I would of learned it twice as quick.

But why do I actually want to learn to write C and Javascript, well I suppose I always have had a fascination with computers from when I was about 6 and I made powerpoints  just to use Powerpoint because as nerdy as it may sound I loved powerpoint (Now I hate it but that’s a story for another time). So now carrying on the nerdy trend I decided to learn C because programming is fun! 

But if you don’t have a natural interest in computers then why would you want to learn to code, there is one big reason for this programming jobs generally pay pretty well and there are a quite a few jobs in the programming sector as it is growing significantly, by 30% from 2010 to 2020 in America, that’s compared to 18% for computer technicians and the average growth of each job sector is 14% in the U.S.

So it looks like programming is quite a good thing to learn.

Source: http://mashable.com/2012/09/20/need-a-job-youd-better-learn-to-code/

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