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bradley
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xx Liberty Basic in teaching coding
« Thread started on: Feb 7th, 2017, 7:48pm »

I am wondering if any schools still use Liberty Basic to teach coding. I know there are lots of alternatives that are potentially popular - I am not canvasing for these, please don't comment on these in this thread.

I am just curious as to LB's use in formal education. There was a time when the novice board was cluttered with tweens and teens learning to code with LB for various school classes. I get the feeling that time has passed.

Comments?

Thanks
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xx Re: Liberty Basic in teaching coding
« Reply #1 on: Feb 7th, 2017, 10:58pm »

I think the teachers drive this and there are two types. Old school that need books and new school that are happier using online teaching aids.

Interest in Liberty BASIC raises when books are published, we don't have an online resource dedicated to supporting teachers. We have lots of self help and step by step lessons but nothing that targets teachers and attempts to convince them that they could teach BASIC without truly understanding it.
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tenochtitlanuk
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xx Re: Liberty Basic in teaching coding
« Reply #2 on: Feb 8th, 2017, 03:06am »

Even in my days as a UK teacher ( I'm over a decade since retirement) it was hard to swim against the tide of being required to teachi how to use Office rather than how coding can solve problems. Teaching programming was very fringe. You had to learn to code VBA interfaces to MS databases, or merge an address database to a Word document, rather than learn that data takes many forms and that processing and using it is a fascinating, bottomless pit!

However in the UK the pendulum is swinging strongly to promoting coding from an early age. The Raspberry PI and its Foundation have been very successful and coding is mainstream again.

It tends to start with youngsters using Scratch, and progreessing quickly to Python with its access to libraries for all sorts.

The best youngsters I ever worked with taught themselves from magazines and books and experimentation. I've been throwing out all my magazines on electronics and computing- they are outdated and not relevant if only a couple of years old ( I've kept over the years a handful of early 'Byte' magazines however). I used to have in my classroom about ten magazines on electronics, computing and science every month...

Books are still good for reference, but far less important. I refer to the online manual for LB ( or Python, another favourite language for me) rather than printed books. Especially since my Python 'bible' is well over 1000 pages...

Online resources however are easily found and extensive. So learning via them is the way. Only problems are reliability of their content, and the necessity to check how up-to-date they are.

Students are ambitious in use of computing technology, and want to invent things that will run on tablets and phones; link into on-line resources like Google maps or Alexa or w.h.y. and can hare off at their own pace, outstripping a teacher however keen and up-to-date,but unable to become a specialist in everything.

I struggle to believe that any successful course encouraging coding would be _led_ by publication of an 'educational book'. The whole environment of this century is the encouragement- with the help of Code Clubs, jams, WorkerSpaces, etc. But look at the huge amount available online for the PI...

Different countries are working to promote computer use in different ways. And the market too- kids see fortunes made by people able to invent a new app or game.

Learning and understanding and being able to USE the machinery is what matters. Some countries have even invented special versions of languages to base a national scheme on. Even if a universal school language for learning was mandated, the students would still have to progress from it to learn, as and when needed, html, css, Javascript, SQL... a whole range of further skills.

Are you a teacher or involved in education? If not, it is great to get involved in encouraging young people in Code Clubs, etc.


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bradley
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xx Re: Liberty Basic in teaching coding
« Reply #3 on: Feb 8th, 2017, 2:42pm »

on Feb 8th, 2017, 03:06am, tenochtitlanuk wrote:
Are you a teacher or involved in education? If not, it is great to get involved in encouraging young people in Code Clubs, etc.


Not me. I have worked in Information Technology for 25 or so years, as a programmer for some of that. Now I manage (since I can't do real work anymore!).

I go back with LB to 94 but have not been very involved over the past 10 or so years. I remember the days when youngsters would bring their homework to us to have us figure it out in the guise of being stuck. I noticed that does not really happen anymore so wondered if coding had moved on. I figured Scratch and Python would be the new introduction languages.
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