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Know Why Your Kid Should Learn Coding!
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Know Why Your Kid Should Learn Coding!  
Computer Science is becoming increasingly boring because of the intuitive machines that have replaced the programming machines, says Eben Upton, the maker of $25 computer Raspberry Pi.    
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Monday, August 13, 2012 If you think your kid is a 'kid' to learn coding, think again! The maker of $25 computer Raspberry Pi says that kids should be allowed to do programming from school level to make computer science interesting for them.

Speaking exclusively to EFYTimes.com, Eben Upton, executive director, Raspberry Pi Foundation, said, “The modern day computer education programs are not successful because students cannot do much with those machines. In our times, we used to have programmable machines, where we had to program them before loading a program. This made us learn programming. Modern day generation is not getting that kind of opportunity because of the intuitive devices they have at their disposal. So we do not see any hobbyist programmers coming from this generation unless the pattern is changed.”

Raspberry Pi, $25 computer, Coding skills, Programming computers, Hobbyist programmers

Upton terms Raspberry Pi as an attempt to 'reboot' hobbyist computing in the kids today. He said, “I was working for the University of Cambridge back in 2005-06. One of my jobs was to find high school students to come and study computer science at the university. A few of us noticed that the number of students opting for computer science was declining year after year and their knowledge level was also declining simultaneously. The students were bright but had less experience. So we had to spend more time to give them that experience after they joined the university. The challenge was to make them ready for the job or do a Ph.D., which requires a lot of experience." He adds, "This generation is not familiar with the programming bit. The root cause is the rise of home PCs and gaming consoles that have replaced the programming machines we used in the 1980s. We used machines like BBC Micros, Amigas and Spectrum ZX where we learnt how to program. I used to program on my own because those machines tempted me into programmming. I do not see much of that happening now. This is where we felt the need of a machine, which was similar to what we used and which prompted students to program on their own. We wanted to bring something cost-friendly yet a powerful device. That's how we came up with Raspberry Pi.”

Upton has positioned Raspberry Pi for promoting computer science education. He said, “UK has a program called Information and Communication Technology for teaching kids how to use computers. It does not involve the programming part. The program has not been much successful because students are getting bored of it. Its boring because the modern day devices are intuitive and students do not have much to do on their own. They are not learning high-value computing skills. This will have long term affects. The generation is going away from programming which is not a good sign because they are losing on computing skills.”

Diksha  P Gupta, EFYTIMES News Network

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