These are letters we received about stories that appeared in the January — February issue of L. Who do you admire? I always thought that there was no one who I would admire in my life. The reasons being because everywhere you look people are shallow, they never think of others.
Because my work was cited as an inspiration for the Khan system, I felt I should respond with two thoughts about learning: Programming is a way of thinking, not a rote skill. Learning about "for" loops is not learning to program, any more than learning about pencils is learning to draw.
And live coding, as a standalone feature, misses the point. Alan Perlis wrote, "To understand a program, you must become both the machine and the program.
A person is not a machine, and should not be forced to think like one. We turn it into something that's understandable by people. Contents The concept of a system split between the computer and the head was derived from Will Wright's thoughts on games. A programming system has two parts.
The programming "environment" is the part that's installed on the computer. The programming "language" is the part that's installed in the programmer's head.
This essay presents a set of design principles for an environment and language suitable for learning. The environment should allow the learner to: The features are not the point We often think of a programming environment or language in terms of its features -- this one "has code folding", that one "has type inference".
This is like thinking about a book in terms of its words -- this book has a "fortuitous", that one has a "munificent". What matters is not individual words, but how the words together convey a message.
Likewise, a well-designed system is not simply a bag of features. A good system is designed to encourage particular ways of thinking, with all features carefully and cohesively designed around that purpose.
This essay will present many features! The trick is to see through them -- to see the underlying design principles that they represent, and understand how these principles enable the programmer to think.
What do those numbers after "fill" mean? What do those numbers after "ellipse" mean? What units are these numbers in? What ranges are they in?
Why are there so many numbers? Khan Academy's tutorials encourage the learner to address these questions by randomly adjusting numbers and trying to figure out what they do. Imagine if you bought a new microwave, took it out of the box, and found a panel of unlabeled buttons.
Imagine if the microwave encouraged you to randomly hit buttons until you figured out what they did. Now, imagine if your cookbook advised you that randomly hitting unlabeled buttons was how you learn cooking.
Make meaning transparent Learning cooking is not about guessing the functionality of your kitchen appliances. It's about understanding how ingredients can be combined. Likewise, guessing the third argument of the "ellipse" function isn't "learning programming". It's simply a barrier to learning.
In a modern environment, memorizing the minutia of an API should be as relevant as memorizing times tables.Everything Happens for a Reason has 12, ratings and 1, reviews. Julie said: Sorry to have to say this, but Everything Happens for a Reason is a mes.
I’m an expert on how technology hijacks our psychological vulnerabilities. That’s why I spent the last three years as Google’s Design Ethicist caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked.
Questions not just topics. While the topics are predictable enough, the actual questions are invariably extremely precise.
Again, there is also a good reason for this: the examiners do not want you to learn an essay, they want to test your English and see if you can answer a precise question, rather than produce a general answer to a general topic.
Our columnist literally wrote the book on peak performance, but he had to reconsider everything after an unexpected battle with mental illness. Back in , the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain began investigating piracy of Dave Barry’s popular column, which was published by the Miami Herald and syndicated widely.
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