Curtis Barron recently wrote a post on his son’s blog (Rants, Raves and Real Estate) entitled, “Why Johnny Can’t Code and How to Help Him” in response to a similarly titled article from Salon.com that discussed the current situation with kids and programming. Spencer found out about Leopard from a comment of recommendation that one reader contributed to the Salon.com article, and he both mentioned and linked to Leopard in his programming language roundup.
It’s nice to see others speak out in support of teaching programming to students. Not only can programming be fun, but it’s also one of the best ways for kids to learn how computers work, and this instruction has repeatedly opened large creative doors to young students who want to use technology as more than just a hobby.
Spencer makes an interesting point about how kids need a goal in order to get motivated with programming, and I think what we’re doing with weather information is a fantastic solution to this. It gives teachers and students a direction in which they can get started with teaching and learning how to program, and this is helpful because they’re already familiar with using the weather data in their curriculum.
Near the end of the post, Spencer also had this to say:
Some languages, such as Logo, KPL, and Leopard, are said to be oriented toward making the learning about computers fun; this may be a consideration.
In the end, if the first experiences that students have with programming are boring, difficult, and time-consuming, then they’re going to hate it immediately, and that’s why Leopard has been built in the way that it is.