I was helping my nephew with his homework tonight.
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Thread: I was helping my nephew with his homework tonight.

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    I was helping my nephew with his homework tonight.

    He's a sophomore in high school and is taking a Java class. I'm primarily a C# guy, but I write a lot of Groovy, so helping with Java is no big deal. What shocked me is that I don't believe that his teacher knows much about Java. He was having some problems and she told him that she didn't know why it didn't work, but he needed to fix it. So, when he came over it wouldn't compile. His first problem was that his filename was not the same as his class name. When she sent it back to him with comments she renamed it. He did not know about this, so we fixed that up and we're able to get useful information out of the compiler about the rest of his errors. He had 10 errors, all spelling, or missing semicolons. Fix those up and it will build. His new methods don't work though. He added them outside of the class declaration. No big deal, move one curly brace and we are working. I nudged him along and it took about 15 minutes of leading him to be able to find the answer for himself. After we were all set, we got to the real meat of his work, which was cropping images.

    I'm frustrated about what we did in the first 15 minutes, for a teacher to just say, I don't know what's wrong, you need to fix it, is unacceptable to me. Especially for such rudimentary problems. It would have only taken me a couple of minutes if I just did it for him.

    Then he shows me his online curriculum. Neat, it has instructional videos. This is for all classes, not just his Java class. Thing is that the videos are all on YouTube, which is blocked at their school, so they are useless during the day.

    In the end, it was a great evening. We spent a lot of time formatting his code. I taught him some of my patterns and practices and gave him some pointers on how to find his answers for his class on Google. (Like the file name thing). However, I did not write any code for him. He's a trooper and I am very proud of him to be taking a programming class at his age, even if it is Java. I just wish his teacher had more knowledge about it.
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    What a different world we live in now. Computer coding classes in high school? Never heard of such a thing......

    My daughter told me a little while ago that her son who is in 1st grade had some basic computer training. She was actually kind of upset about that as she doesn't believe in exposing her son to all these electronic devises. 7 year old boys are supposed to play with learning toys and be outside - not spend their lives inside in front of a screen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    What a different world we live in now. Computer coding classes in high school? Never heard of such a thing......
    I had a computer programming class in high school but back then it was assembly language for the IBM 360 and 370 series mainframes.
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    No computers when I went to school. Had to learn the slide rule. My 15 year old grandson thought the slide rule was "cool".
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRobinson View Post
    No computers when I went to school. Had to learn the slide rule. My 15 year old grandson thought the slide rule was "cool".
    You had a slide rule? We had an abacus!
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    All I remember was pencil and paper - not even a calculator.

    I do understand the reason for all the technological advances, but in my feeble old mind I always wonder about the dependence on machines (computers etc.). I guess one could say that computers and the internet are here to stay, but how would these younger folks deal with mathematical equations - which is the base for just about everything - if there wasn't a computer to use. Bringing this to the most basic level - cashiers at stores can't count change without the register telling them how much to give the customer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    All I remember was pencil and paper - not even a calculator.

    I do understand the reason for all the technological advances, but in my feeble old mind I always wonder about the dependence on machines (computers etc.). I guess one could say that computers and the internet are here to stay, but how would these younger folks deal with mathematical equations - which is the base for just about everything - if there wasn't a computer to use. Bringing this to the most basic level - cashiers at stores can't count change without the register telling them how much to give the customer.
    Coaltrain, you would shudder if you knew what was really happening in these schools today. For example:

    Text books are being replaced with I-Pads (easier to change the content from year to year to fit whatever agenda is the flavor of the day, and parent can't ever see what the kids are learning since those I-Pads have to stay in the school).
    Sex Ed starting in kindergarten.
    Not allowed to "stack" your math problems (like we learned to do), the problem will be marked wrong. BUT, if you sit around with a group of other students and figure out the problem together by discussing it, even if the answer is wrong the students get full credit.

    I could go on for days... Sorry for the rant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonton View Post
    Coaltrain, you would shudder if you knew what was really happening in these schools today. For example:

    Text books are being replaced with I-Pads (easier to change the content from year to year to fit whatever agenda is the flavor of the day, and parent can't ever see what the kids are learning since those I-Pads have to stay in the school).
    Sex Ed starting in kindergarten.
    Not allowed to "stack" your math problems (like we learned to do), the problem will be marked wrong. BUT, if you sit around with a group of other students and figure out the problem together by discussing it, even if the answer is wrong the students get full credit.

    I could go on for days... Sorry for the rant.
    You're right - maybe I'm better off not knowing........

    I'm really proud of my daughter not exposing her son to TV and video games. It's quite refreshing to watch him entertain himself with his Legos, toy trucks, and drawing with crayons and pencils. He is just starting to read and has only real books that you hold in your hand. But it sounds as if she may have some problems coming after reading what you wrote since he is in public school.
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