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Re: REAL computer science classes in high school

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:27 am
by RITRedbeard
I'm a computer science undergrad. I've been working doing what I guess you would call "desktop support" and learning it all myself or through my uncle for about fifteen years.

What my high school lacked was any sort of class or program that trained students or opened doors to programming and the fundamentals of computer science or even basic programming I learned things on my own. Things like algorithms and typical CS and computational problems.

Even in community college the working environment was Windows. I was fortunate enough, however, to be graced with a wonderful professor and she being department head mandated that we learn C++, which was an excellent choice.

The problem lies within that most of the population is that of consumers and not producers.
The big Core 2 Duo desktops and Windows operating system adds a layer of unfriendliness to the entire process of trying to learn the interworkings of what it is that you're doing.

Linux has a steep learning curve but that's why LUGs exist. I think in a class room environment young adults who are serious and passionate about computing (if they want to become IT, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Computer Science, whatever) it would be the same situation with a LUG -- you learn from the experience.

I really think this project is a great thing and maybe after I get my undergrad I can take some time off and teach as a volunteer at local high schools or have a weekend program for students who are interested.

Re: REAL computer science classes in high school

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:14 am
by MDC
In my high school there was little differentiating Business Studies from I.T. I think today that you learn how use a computer but how one actually works is not taught at all. Computers have entered into the catagory of one of those tools that you use every day but don't know how they work, like the telephone, television, digital clock. Today you are taught how to drive a computer through the Microsoft office suite and other programmes, but not told how to make a programme. Hence why I am in the situation I am know of having no programming skills and only just learning after leaving High school less than ten years ago.

Re: REAL computer science classes in high school

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:09 am
by bruceD
Can we build a list of topics, with newbie/inter/journeyman examples, that might be in real computer science?
And use RP to demonstrate them, for exploring, extending, enthusing others?
Perhaps like what Wolfram Demonstrations has done/is doing for math.

Re: REAL computer science classes in high school

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:18 am
by vadsamoht
In my high school, the only real IT courses offered were the first 2 CISCO certificates, which had to be taken outside of regular school hours. There were some other courses in CAD and 'multimedia' (read: flash and HTML), but no real CS. (I live in Australia, and graduated from high school about 4 years ago.)

I think a large part of the problem is that CS curricula are often quite weak, because schools or the institutions that manage them are often scared of the continually changing landscape and the assosciated costs of continual training for the teaching staff.

Re: REAL computer science classes in high school

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:36 am
by Chris
I remember back at GCSE, I opted for ICT and Systems. In Ict we basically did exel word and presentations. ( Business Studies?? ) and in Systems I created an Automated Robot, well I say Created, truth is I designed it and made some of the parts, since the Systems teacher was a real fan and tinkerer, each time I came to class he basically had a large chunk of it done for me. He even took the liberty of naming it >.<.

Thats when I started to teach myself computing, but I always did web scripting php html css. I have never got my head around actual program languages and I blame that on not experiencing it in school, where we are at the years of learning the best.

Re: REAL computer science classes in high school

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:42 am
by johnr
Hi

I have been worried about the lack of real computing in the high schools I have worked in. While kids do need to colour in and write stories they do not need million dollar computer networks to do this with. I have recently found using electronics teaching to be a much better way of introducing programming and getting kids to understand what actually goes on inside a computer. I have been using PIC chips and recently got very excited by Arduino boards. The raspberry pi is a wonderful next step.

Re: REAL computer science classes in high school

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:22 am
by EricMiddleton
At my school, the only programming course they offer are Visual Basic and Java. They cancelled C++ because, according to them, its not as useful in the real world. I taught myself C++, but its a shame that it came to that. I believe that many students today would be very good at programming (I know a few that think very logically), but they don't have classes where they can actually learn something useful.

Re: REAL computer science classes in high school

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:42 am
by jamesh
Eric Middleton said:


They cancelled C++ because, according to them, its not as useful in the real world.


I'd laugh at that, if it wasn't so sad.

Re: REAL computer science classes in high school

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:10 pm
by Benedict White
JamesH said:


Eric Middleton said:


They cancelled C++ because, according to them, its not as useful in the real world.


I'd laugh at that, if it wasn't so sad.


When at Uni we were taught Modula 2 because it was the future!

Now nip off to the loo before you wet yourself.