Coding Is the New Writing for Developing Self-Expression, Communication, Imagination and Solving Hard Problems

October 2, 2014 at 8:36 am 1 comment

A really nice article by Dr. Idit Harel Caperton on why to learn to code.  She really captures well the insight that computing is a medium, and the value of developing literacy in this medium.

To summarize, kids and adults too learn best by teaching, explaining, inventing and representing information to others. Coding is the new writing tool for young minds to do just that and especially well when integrated into a harder problem and a larger purpose, than learning coding for the sake of learning coding.

via Coding Is the New Writing for Developing Self-Expression, Communication, Imagination and Solving Hard Problems | Dr. Idit Harel Caperton.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. alanone1  |  October 2, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I’m a big fan of Idit and her work over the years. And she is quite right about the epistemological reasons for adding computing as a crown jewel to education.

    However, literacy requires certain thresholds that go beyond mere “codes”. In language terms, a “pidgin” is an amalgam of terms drawn from different sources that can be used for simple communication and commerce, but in which larger expressions — such as a Shakespeare play — can not be translated meaningfully. It’s known in linguistics that a real language form — called a “Creole” — often follows a generation or two of pidgin use (how this happens is fascinating but outside the scope here). Shakespeare – etc – can be translated into creole languages, and has many times.

    This gives us some basis for criticizing the real limitations of programming languages for forming a literature and a literacy. Most of the current ones work to limited extents as “codes” whose readers are computers, but they are woefully inadequate as vehicles of expression for humans. (LOGO by the way, especially the early versions, stands out as being better at this than most languages that are being programmed in today.)

    Many people over the years have proposed that programming languages should be designed for literate purposes and for writing down ideas. This is still yet to be done, and it’s a great and important goal.

    Reply

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