I didn't take it as just an alternative suggestion, I took the comment "not just a fill in the blank coding exercise" as a denigration of the effort many people were putting into this. Its easy to make suggestions from the sidelines.
How about you volunteer a week of your time at a school and do what you want to do instead of telling me what to do and denigrating the tool I chose to do it?
I'm a professional software engineer and learned to code as a 10-year old in 1979. I think those 'fill in the blank' exercises you mention strip away all the syntactic sugar and illustrates the pure logic of coding. I also show the kids several real ruby programs so they understand the difference between blockly and real programming text.
I personally ran this last week with almost 200 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, and will be doing it Monday and Tuesday to make up for snow days last week.
First, because their lab time is an hour and we also did a warm up and closing lecture, most kids didn't get to all 20 exercises in the first blockly set - we had perhaps 15 kids get all the way through it. Second, Most of the kids weren't patient enough to watch *any* of the videos, clicking through them to get to the next exercise. The dude from NASA in that last video talks for a while about the problem they just solved - it took about 7 seconds for the kids to get bored hearing about what they just solved, and they wanted to jump to the part where they could get their certificate at the end.
In my kids' school I had to prearrange to unblock access to all of this stuff as well. I'm sure there are plenty of schools that unblocked code.org, but not YouTube... so they could do the exercises but not watch videos.
I have 6 y/o triplet boys, and they have had ipod touches since they were three. They have helped them learn to read, play games, and do all kinds of age appropriate stuff. More importantly, they can call me with facetime! The first time that happened unexpectedly I was surprised and proud... Now its actually helped in an emergency once when they locked themselves in their room, their mom was outside, and they called me while one of their brothers was climbing out on the roof to get her attention.
We don't allow them in the bedroom after bedtime, before or at school, and occasionally take them away for punishment. I wish we could time-lock them the same way you can OSX, but other than that, they have also been useful in teaching responsibility.
TRS-80 Model1, Level 1 Basic, 4K of ram to a 16 Gig Retina Macbook pro.
4,194,304 times as much.
sarcasm = (company.attributes.include?([:big_and_evil]) && comment.classification == "complimentary")
The country doesn't have a national language, despite the fact that the majority speak English... so why do we think the Federal government could just mandate metric? Hell, even if they tried, a bunch of angry southern congressman would probably cry 'states rights'. Thanks Obama.
The cooking channel, the car dealers, gas stations and everyone reading this response could start speaking metric tomorrow if they wanted too... about the only thing that would seem awkward on the green highway mile markers and speed limit signs... and we already largely ignore those...
If you think you care so much about metric, why can't you tell me how many liters per 100 km your car takes? Its *your* car... no one is stopping you.
I prefer to think that after the events of that movie, Old Spock simply took a ship to the Guardian of Forever, jumped through, and restored the original timeline. After all, there were time travel plots for far less grandiose reasons than saving the Vulcan homeworld...
speaking as the owner of a successful 7 person software consulting firm, its not worth my time to manage you.
We have tried time and time again to try to utilize people for '15 hours on the side'. It fails miserably. You aren't there when I need you to unblock someone looking at your work, and if you have any other commitment, overtime on your main job, a sick kid, a band rehearsal, a stubbed toe, its evident that the '15 hours on the side' is your lowest priority... and that's fine, I mean, I wouldn't give up time with my kids for some beer money on the side, but generally, our priorities don't line up and its only a matter of time before I pay the price.
Contribute to open source, build a portfolio, then determine if its something you're ready to commit to.
Dr. Doofenschmirtz is head of their R&D Department. Marketing wouldn't let him call it the "Driveinator"
more importantly, non profits doesn't mean that the organzizaion doesn't make profits... non-profit is simply a tax designation that says "profits aren't our first motivation", and in exchange get slightly different tax considerations under the law, especially in regards to 'gifted contributions'. Every organization must make at least as much as it spends, or it dies. whats leftover from year to year is the profit.
When I started, I had 4K and saved programs I typed to cassette tape! The differences between then and 1995 are orders of magnitude greater than 1995 to now.
I clearly recall the last three jaw-dropping moments:
circa 2001, Seeing AMD beat intel to the market with a 1GHz processor
circa 1997, being able to download a music file in less time than it took to play.
circa 1991, seeing a postage-stamp video of the moon launch on Quicktime from the Apple Developer CD they distributed monthly.
Other than that, its all more of the same, or far enough back in history as to be a blur.
I don't care if you're self taught or have an ivy league education - prove to me you know something. Let me see a portfolio. Contribute to open source. Build your own website, do IT support for your local volunteer fire department, build a web app that helps a local pet rescue organization accept donations. Get involved in your local user groups. Anything - just get visible.
Education is irrelevant when compared to knowledge and motivation.
I think you underestimate the value of those things. Most of these classes aren't strictly about history, english, and the like, but enhance your overall mental ability - such as the ability to write, comprehend, and reason, which frankly, is generally missing from those in our field.
If you don't have those things, that's fine, but that's not a BS or a BA, thats a trade school education.
Using computers to replace auditoriums full of lawyers?