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Ubiquitous computing gadget to teach coding

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 3 years ago

1

An anonymous reader writes "A distance learning university in the UK has revamped its IT curriculum to attract more students — the biggest change is that budding coders will get a chunk of hardware which plugs into a computer via USB and can be programmed using a language called Sense — based on MIT's Scratch 'drag and drop' programming language. The university hopes this gadget-based approach will encourage fewer students to give up on their IT studies — it currently has 25,000 techies who have "paused" their studies."

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The phrase "Dropping the Ball" comes to mind. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36427832)

They should be using an Arduino, in the first place (or a BASIC Stamp, for Grid's sake), not this no-name thing with one button input and a few other things... maybe controls 2 motors?

And a GUI-based child's language? Yeah, that'll get the smart techies to start lining up for classes, I am sure.

Get a clue, folks. People aren't getting IT degrees for several reasons. Among those reasons: on average, IT professionals have to endure bad working conditions and low pay in relation to the difficulty of the job and the ongoing education needed to perform it well.

The constantly-evolving nature of IT (especially if you consider programming in that category) means that in order to do your job effectively, you are learning all the time. Few other professions even come close to the demands of IT in that regard, with the possible exception of medicine. But even medicine is not a very good comparison, because even though "continuing education" is often required of medical professionals, most doctors simply don't keep up with the recent advances, or even really try.

And to top it off, employers are often simply not willing to pay for much of the continuous learning that IT requires. What other profession is like that, to a degree that is really comparable?

Adam Smith, man. Supply and demand. If the supply is scarce, there is a reason. The only good way to increase supply is to increase the price. That's the way it works.
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