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Subject:
From:
"Borgia, William M." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Borgia, William M.
Date:
Wed, 1 Dec 1999 17:53:55 -0500
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        > I'm struck by my apparent lack of understanding of today's college
degree,
        > and it hasn't been that long since I graduated. I don't recall
"fun" being a
        > requirement (well, maybe after class!). I certainly didn't have
any
        > profeesors that worried whether we were having fun or not, they
only cared
        > if we learned the material. Besides, how much fun is it to work
60+ hours a
        > week trying to beat a deadline because your requirements changed
at the last
        > minute? Or that COTS device driver doesn't quite work at all with
two days
        > to go?

        [Borgia:]

        Making learning fun and interesting is probably one of the better
teaching techniques, and I would hope that professors consider this when
developing and teaching courses.  But they should not compromise their
students' education by diluting it with "fun."

        I've always used graphics as a way to introduce object-orientation
to people, both technical and non-technical.  I find that it works well.
Getting a little bit deeper, I think that the best way to introduce a new
programming language to anybody (new freshman or veteran software engineer)
is to show basic calls to a graphics API.  That certainly makes it fun,
which is a great motivator, and one can often learn the basic syntax in
about a week.

        And of course, you don't need Visual Basic to do graphics.  One
could do it with GNAT and Michael Feldman's turtle graphics packages, both
free.

        Bill Borgia

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