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Re: [school-discuss] Dyslexia and Programming

>  > young
>  > children have absolutely no idea what is possible,
> I agree. The same goes with adults by the way. So, 
> that cannot be the problem.
> < and don't have any
>  > sense of scope, i.e. "this is hard, this is easy".
> I agree for the same reason as above.

What makes me say this is that I have experience teaching an Aspergers
student programming.  We would spend about an hour a week working on
Scratch after an hour or so of working on reading skills.  He wanted to
learn really, really badly.  Maybe this is just because I was a horrible
teacher and/or had little experience with Scratch prior to this, but
the thing that tripped us up most was finding things to do. In the age
of PowerPoint transitions, it turns out that students don't seem to care
about making a cat walk in circles.  The question, "Okay, what do you
want to make?" was greeted with a shoulder shrug.  I showed him what
was possible, but it probably meant nothing since it wasn't in context.
It's very difficult for someone who has never thought in these
terms to do so.  

If I were to teach you how to knit today and then ask you, "Okay, now
what do you want to knit?" you would have a pretty good idea that you
can make a scarf, mittens, etc.  When you put a kid in front of a
computer and ask what they want to make, it's sort of difficult to know
the boundaries.  I agree that programming should be a form of creative
expression where creativity is placed first, but when you're just
learning, that's a bit tricky.  

For instance, I'm in the position currently where I'm trying to learn
Erlang.  I've done a lot of programming, but never used a functional
language before.  What the heck can I write in Erlang that isn't too
complicated, yet will use as many features of the language as
possible?  This isn't something I can just think up on my own.  

The same goes here.  You can't go from "no experience" to "super
awesome computer program".  You need to learn through small,
interesting projects first.  

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