While Freja and I were playing with some Python last week, it occurred to me that the biggest problem that she (and presumably other kids) was having was how unforgiving computer languages are. For instance, after changing the name in the 'you_smell.py' script, she decided that she wanted to have it react to "daddy" or "ella" in certain ways. Without prompting, she tried:
if your_name.lower() == "daddy or ella":
Now, that doesn't actually work, but it's not a bad stab, I reckon. But you get no positive feedback for getting close - stuff just doesn't work. And many of the changes she made were plain syntax errors.
This wasn't a problem - I was with her, and I didn't allow her to become frustrated. But I doubt that you could leave a child of her age on her own to play with this stuff, really.Posted to Parenting by Simon Brunning at April 01, 2005 04:27 PM