David Brin of Salon makes a compelling argument for why we should still be teaching our kids the BASIC programming language. Before you laugh this off, read the article. Using his son as an example, he explains what we are missing:
Fact is, I just wanted to give my son a chance to sample some of the wizardry standing behind the curtain, before he became lost in the avatar-filled and glossy-rendered streets of Oz. Like the hero in "TRON," or "The Matrix," I want him to be a user who can see the lines that weave through the fabric of cyberspace -- or at least know some history about where it all came from. At the very minimum, he ought to be able to type those examples in his math books [that ask him to program a simple algorithm] and use the computer the way it was originally designed to be used: to compute.
Microsoft and Apple ... seem bent on providing information consumption devices, not tools that teach creative thinking and technological mastery.
Yes, creating content for YouTube and MySpace require some technical literacy, but it doesn't require the fundamentals that can be applied to so many aspects of life.
This entry is cross-posted at PopPolitics.com