[OT] - Are computers in education better now than 20 years ago?

Michael L Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Fri Feb 9 13:06:50 MST 2007

I found this article to be absolutely fascinating:

I don't have any kids to raise yet so I don't know exactly what the
states of computers and computer games are currently.  But if they are
anything like the popular entertainment games, I can see how the glitz
and glamor of both the game itself and the operating system get in the
way of the education process.

His article on a C64 teaching his kids math, reading, and even
programming skills is very interesting.  In fact, the experiences his
kids are having on the C64 reminds me very much of my own experience
when I was 6 years old.  My dad bought a brand new IBM PC for business
purposes.  After showing me a few simple games, and how to navigate
BASIC and DOS, I was off.  I received a book on programming BASIC it was
all down-hill from there.  The computer fascinated me and with my little
programs it was just (as far as I knew) me and the hardware.  Arguably I
never really started to do major programming until junior high school
when I got my first compilers (for BASIC) and then taught myself C and C
++.  And then my CS degree gave me the foundation to really create
things using a programming language.

I just haven't seen young people really "catch the vision" like it seems
that me and most of my geeky friends did back in elementary school.  Not
saying that waiting to learn computer programming in University is bad.
Just that it seems computers don't inspire the young people as much
anymore.  Maybe returning to the C64 is just the ticket.

Thought I'd share this link.  I may have to see what a full-screen C64
emulator does for my kids.  The Apple II was a great educational
platform too...  Anyways.


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