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[REBOL] Re: teaching rebol

From: gerardcote:sympatico:ca at: 4-Apr-2003 13:24

Hi Andrew, and also to others interested in REBOL as a teaching tool, or should I say interested in REBOL as a learning object instead of a tool used to help others to learn or may be both ... But in this case the game to play doen't not necessary have exactly the same rules to play with but some aspects could help in both cases however... Just in case you were interested in any one of the above activities, see the last part of this email and look at what can be done by 4th graders using E-Slate - also named as ComponentLogo. It seems that could also be done pretty well using REBOL if we add some graphical tools to it. I can say that because I having seen some graphical demos circulating here from a couple of years... but work has to be done to isolate the tricky part of the process and getting it available for the masses ! But first to answer Andrew's remark about the usefulness of creating a dialect - reproduced below - just for the sake of teaching I would say what follows this extract :
> Andrew wrote: > > > I'm against creating a dialect purely for teaching purposes. It's better > to create a dialect that's useful, instead. > > Gregg wrote: > > It would be useful, if it helps to teach concepts though, no? > > I think a worked example would be better. I'm against creating something > that's purely intended to be learnt and then discarded. It's a waste of time > for the teacher and the student. > > > To me, the experts who are the best at explaining advanced concepts to > "normal" people (i.e. people out of the know) are able to distill the > important principles and elements and express them in ways that may have no > "real value" beyond that context. > > > > Would you agree or disagree with that statement? > > I think that important principals can be learned in one area and applied to > another out of that context.
Perhaps it doesn't really matters to create something new - even a dialect - for any reason except if the usefulness of a computer and as such an accompanying programming language is really questionable at the task at hand. And this can be referred to one of the following reasons that are generally invoked to justify or not the necessity to use such tools : 1- Complexity of the problem to resolve 2- Speed necessary to accomplish the task at hand (Here this means a very small time - Real-Time or a great number of items to handle all in the same precise way - Looping) 3- Reduce the errors and/or minimize error prone situations (Reliability) 4- Reduce the health risks and/or minimize risk prone situations (Security) 5- Ease the task process and even doing it instead of leaving it done by humans (Simplification of a process often means a combination or the above and an apparent greater life level - but many ppl are now without jobs...) Similar to the automation done in the past by way of mechanics, using electricity and computers Other than for any of these main reasons, computer use is not really justified except for fun motivation and even the learning/teaching combo can find a niche inside the former reasons I think. Until recently however and even nowadays, computer was/is used in most part to fulfill the 2nd and 5th reasons above because of the complexity (and cost of development) to replace entirely the human brain while he is brightly teaching - or should we say while he brightly tries to help ppl. learning (some ppl. even don't use the computer in this sense anyway but instead as simple exercisers) and mainly because of the fact that the complexity of identifying and programming the required apps was a big wall that has yet to be jumped over in many if not most areas. ----------------------------------------- And for the first part of this email, follow these links and observe for a few moments a) the nature of projects done by youngsters and the tools they use to do so : College --> look under the many Projects sections - one is available for each school b) the creations done by the 4th graders of the Larisa school using many tools including the E-Slate tool (doc and product available at : : Wall Finally, as the World is so small, here is a list of other current E-Slate related projects, many of them having been listed already somewhere else in this ML : Particularly get an eye on this one - may be this will trace our future a bit too, who knows : Regards, -- Gerard