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[REBOL] Re: teaching rebol

From: Mike:withforesight at: 31-Mar-2003 23:07

Can I add my 2 cents to this thread ... My son is 9 and has shown an interest in learning something about programming. We spent some time playing around with REBOL but quickly came to the conclusion it would take a great deal of work to get him to the point where he could actually do "fun' things. Turns out there are lots of academic folks working in this area and a few good commercial products. On the academic side see, for example John Pane's work at Carnegie Mellon University The Snip below is from HANDS: Programming for Children: HANDS is a new programming system for children. HANDS provides a concrete model for computation as an alternative to requiring beginners to learn a whole new set of programming concepts like procedures, variables, parameters, scoping, flow of control, etc. In HANDS, the computation is represented by a character sitting at a table, reacting to events and manipulating cards that contain all of the program's data. ... On the commercial side there is Agentsheets (an outgrowth of work done at University of Colorado) see: (free time delimited demo or $120 to purchase) Snippet ... Agentsheets is a revolutionary authoring tool that allows non-programmers to create agents with behaviors and missions, teach agents to react to information and process it in personalized ways, and combine agents to create sophisticated interactive simulations and models.... Nice set of sample apps for kids to play with but, IMHO, it lacks a good tutorial and is probably suitable for older kids (14 & up). My son and I have used Stagecast ( see from which the following is snipped. In the classroom, Creator gives you and your students the power to create lively interactive simulations for math, reading, science and more. Creator can be used for any subject, for any grade level, by both boys and girls, and by students with a wide variety of learning styles. Children learn by building things. It offers a 3 month free trial and the purchase price is $49.95 USD Stagecraft has a great tutorial and kids are "up and running" in minutes... really remarkable. Notice the end sentence: "Children learn by building things." Perhaps this rule also applies to adults (especially those wanting to learn REBOL). I think it would be great if we could duplicate the stagecraft tutorial using REBOL (View -- no doubt). Something well beyond my ability with REBOL. Make something so that REBOL becomes the language of choice for teaching programming in high school... (where have I seen that strategy before...) thanks for reading this far... Mike Behar [rebolite--withforesight--com]