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Reality Is Borken

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Stanford students at a wall display

Stanford students working on a game for a computer science senior project.

Credit: Roblox Developers' Journal

All this talk of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and encouraging programming in schools is an embodiment of the needs of the parents/Government/IT Sector and not really that of the children.

U.K. Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove recently declared that games offer "huge potential for maths and science teaching," but progress has been slow. In a report published earlier this year, Ian Livingstone?, life-president of games publisher Eidos,  described the need to "transform young people's passion to play videogames into a desire to make them."

The report relied on a premise: if more children are exposed to 'proper' Computer Science in schools there will be a sudden and impressive flood of kids wanting to go into IT careers. It might be right. Might.

The trick, of course, is to keep the 'cool' of games and, more challengingly, of programming despite the huge difference between choosing to play and the stranger task of designing/making/coding games. Part of the problem is the big gap between what children can reasonably program and the polished products that they are used to consuming. The other issue is what I call 'Workification'; the consistent transforming of something fun and creative into mindless drudgery by well-meaning, possibly desperate educators, trying to make important skills relevant to an apparently disaffected youth.

From #AltDevBlogADay
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