I used PSOC 1 and 9 & 11 year old grandaughter and showed them
they were already programmers (they were able to use calculators)
and blink an LED and make processor emit "mary had a little lamb"
in sequential tones. In my case they are not Einstein, neither are they
handicapped mentally, pretty much average of population like their
Grandfather. So yes kids can learn C as it looks algebraic, many of
them having been exposed to A + 1 = C, what is A if C is 4 ?
"What I find about most schools in the US is that they are not good about
exposing students to the practical side of what they are learning."
That was even true when I was in University. I did not graduate with a great
GPA, mainly because I did not do a lot of the homework but instead came home
and applied what I had learned that day. And did lab experiemnts with the class
room material taught. As an aside the University was focused on theoretical,
explains the less practical environment. But we were engineers who wanted to
Language for games without overload, how about Python, allows acess at c level
but allows one to interface to PC and GUI capability. Vis Studio another but a little
I got my degree in the Electrical Engineering Technology program for the very reason of practical experience. I minored in history.
I went into higher education knowing a straight EE is almost purely theoretical, uninteresting, and delivers little practical experience. Employers want experience, bottom line. If I did not know, I may have bombed out or have gotten a very low GPA.
There was tons of gruntwork in the EET program, but I still managed to pull a 3.07 GPA. My GPA was lower at the time I was on Co-Op, and the boss came to the conclusion I was smarter than most 4.0's. All a GPA states is one's ability to memorize information, regurgitate it on an exam, and solve preconceived problems to the tee. It does not measure critical thinking abilities, practical problem solving skills, and creativity.
The idiots that run educational bureaucracies have come to the wrong conclusion by saying that students simply are not learning the way they used to. The bottom line is that a boring education (as does anything boring) turns people off. Throwing money and more administrators at the problem will not help (school districts always are complaining they are underfunded). What will work is overhauling the model. The new model will be one that is more individualized, flexible, and emphasizes building on areas of strength. Creativity and critical thinking will be the crux of the model, not conformity. After all, there are few situations where there simply are right or wrongs answers and solutions to problems. This is a complex information age we are living in.
The countries that do not implement an educational model similar to the one I am describing may not succeed in the global, knowledge-based economy. What may help do America in (more likely parts of America) are the strong forces that are resisting the changes brought on by the Information Age. If one wants to succeed in the age, they must become well educated and learn best how to handle information and knowledge. Working class jobs that once sustained the middle class have been replaced by cheap labor elsewhere (and by machines). What inevitably will define the" haves and have nots" will be those willing to learn, accept change, challenge the status quo, and above all, think.
I want to influence these kids in a way they can succeed. The school system obviously will not challenge "Einstein." The system, for the so-called "learning disabled" kid, is just unrealistic for him. My job as a tutor is to find a way to make it work for both of them. Knowledge will make or break them.
There is a book (ask Amazon) titled "Learn Digital Design with PSoC, a bit at a time" written by Dave van Ess who formerly worked at Cypress. It describes in a very basic way digital logic and he uses PSoCs to program and test the logic. Worth having a look into for every beginner.
@kingneb, I agree largely with what you say about school systems.
But I would state that not all professors are equal. I did have some,
maybe 30%, that wrote exams that tested critical thinking, and the rest
the route mechanical learning model you suggested.
Unfortunately here in US there is a large disparity between elected
public officials and parents, the latter having high expectation of
schooling, the former bent on putting hudreds of students into one
classroom, and other such cuts. US is more commited to warfare
then education, and the huge layoffs of teachers that occured in
2008 directly reflects those priorities.