The need to understand how a computer works vs how a car works →

December 1st, 2011

John Graham-Cumming discusses the discussion on Radio 4 about teaching computing in schools.

Here’s a taste:

The computer is not a machine like a car with a single purpose, it’s a meta-machine. A machine that can masquerade as other sorts of machine. … A car does one thing: moves. You need to know how to operate the movement. Well, a computer does one thing: lets you program it to do things.

If you teach someone to operate a word processor (as is done in the UK’s stupid ICT classes) you are not teaching them to use a computer at all. You are teaching them to use a word processor…

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