In the beginning, there were toys. Trying to engage kids with technology and programming using toys is not the engaging, motivating experience wed like it to be. Kids need a reason to push through the frustrations and challenges of learning to program, and toys just don’t provide that reason.
The fundamental message, which underpins all of the issues with the toy approach to teaching technology, was that the students could not see the point of what they were supposed to be learning. And kids can be quite pragmatic – when they can’t see any point to what they are doing, they don’t do it.
So what happened when I switched to teaching programming and critical thinking skills using data science with real datasets? Find out in Episode 8 of Raising Heretics: The Podcast.
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Heartfelt thanks to Jed Wesley Smith for the theme, and Tia Lowenthal for the cover image.