> application. First, this particular teacher may not > be able to reproduce his results with other children > in another place or the prescription amounts to: > hire this individual teacher, which not every school > can do. (Just this has been my objection all along > to Kirby's unrestrained conceits, even when his > conceits still had some credibility in my eyes.)
One of my conceits is that, in this day and age, basic numeracy includes absorbing some programming skills.
This was the premise of Python's DARPA funded Computer Programming for Everybody (CP4E).
Spreading programming skills to "the masses" is simply engrained in our subculture -- feel free to tune us out (many do, many don't, just like Fox News).
It's not a viewpoint everyone shares, but if one does share it, then of course *some software* is beneficial, because learning *some programming* around math concepts is partly *the point* of what we're doing.
Acquiring these skills are not just a means to an end, they're an end in themselves.
We don't just use math to help you "get programming", we use programming to help you "get math."
It's about learning to program yes, but also about programming to learn.
It's like saying having a piano in the room, and sheet music, is useful to those learning to play the piano (duh).
Mathematics has acquired a new instrument, the digital computer, and learning to "play it" is what *some* numeracy teachers consider a worthwhile investment of students' time.
It's just what we teach. And we have that right, including on the public dime, as many fellow citizens, many of them employers, appreciate what we do, and want their taxes to make a positive difference by funding us.
Not everyone thinks in this way (not the State of California apparently, if Wayne is at all representative). That's fine. I'm not advocating "one size fits all." Just be aware of the diversity within our borders, and live with it.
I recognize competing schools of thought, and welcome a level playing field (vs. a rigged one, unfairly unfriendly to minority subcultures).
It's just that here in the Silicon Forest, where high tech is a way of life, you don't usually ask this question "is software useful". We're not having that debate out here.
We're more up to "what software and when?"
And also, most of the software is free (even the Microsoft stuff, to stay in the game). So "how much will it cost?" is not always an important question either.
Yes, computers entail costs. So do school buildings. So do pianos.