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Archive for June, 2016

Update on “Learning and Playing” Update on “Learning and Playing”

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Over a year ago I wrote a post on “Learning and Playing“. In the meantime, three important things happened, that lead me to update the original post:

  • yesterday, Apple announced the release of “Swift Playgrounds
    • this is the review of Rene Ritchie at iMore. He says: “It’s one of the finest things Apple has ever done, and it’s going to change the way coding is done for the next generation.”
  • Lorena A. Barba published a blog post on “Computational Thinking
  • “s/buy/make/” published a wonderful empirical statistical analysis that demonstrates how the complexity of legos is increasing

An old note for my original post included this note:

From a big picture view, it seems to me that it is more easy now than it was at the time Mindstorm was published to access computer programming. In contrast to this development (now there are more high level programming languages, now there are more simple plotting APIs) most of the (young) people today regard “the computer” more of a consuming and communication device than an invention and try things out device. More and more people use computers, but at least relatively less people use it for creation – and I think creation involves some way of programming.

I expect that Swift Playgrounds, once it’s released, will offer the best platform since the original Logo, to learn and play. This is the announcement that made me the most happy among all recent Apple announcements. Lorena A. Barba reframed my “learn and play” phrase into “the essence is what we can do while interacting with computers, as extensions of our mind, to create and discover“. I expect Swift Playgrounds to be a wonderful tool for just that.

Swift playground
Screenshot of the Swift Playground Demo site.

Let’s end with some good news: Lego is holding still onto its original values:

So what happened with Legos? They made a lot more of them. In doing so, they made a lot of new, specialized bricks, but they made even more general purpose bricks. This trend is easily obscured by the opposite trend in the number of brick types, but from a ‘creative play’ standpoint the bricks you actually end up with are more important than the bricks you could have ended up with.

And: “yeah… you can do this! Ba… Ba.. Baaa…!” (watch until the end!)

Written by Claus

June 14th, 2016 at 11:49 am

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