The Future of LiveCode in Education

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Mon Feb 29 15:16:35 EST 2016

William Prothero wrote:

 > Richard;
 > Agreed. Perhaps it’s my age. Yes, of course it won’t be a good
 > strategy to compare Livecode to Hypercard. I only brought it up in
 > an attempt to contrast the wide early adoption of Hypercard by
 > educators, to the current environment where there are so many
 > choices and also where knowledge of specific programming languages
 > seems to be tied to employment requirements at some IT companies.
 > That said, I think that livecode has amazing potential in education
 > and elsewhere. I hope to support that.

Personally I see no reason LiveCode can't become the go-to choice for 
teaching CS basics.

Right now we see Scratch used for some of that, but the boundaries of 
any point-and-click system are encountered pretty quickly.  For young 
users it can be a good starting point, but most outgrow it fairly quickly.

I've seen some who move students directly from Scratch to JavaScript or 
even Java, and I'm no educator but I've read just enough Piaget to 
believe that's not a good choice.

By far the most popular learning language today is Python, which is in 
most respects a pretty great language.  But the distance between "I want 
to build an app" and "Look, I built an app!" needs to be as short as 
possible to keep young learners engaged, and since Python follows the 
traditional approach of treating UI as an afterthought a lot of 
foundational work needs to be done with learners before they can build 
even a simple app.

With LC, of course, the UI stuff is as deeply integrated directly in the 
language as event handlers and control structures, so the programming 
logic tends to reflect the end-user experience more than how the 
computer delivers that experience.  And since all of us use computers, 
it seems to gel more quickly to work from a UI-centric perspective.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at      

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