Most schools don’t teach computer sciences, at least computer science lessons which are worthwhile for the students. From the very beginning, many students are perplexed by how computers work.
They said they can use them. What do they really know? They know how to use proprietary made software by a commercial business, made to do one thing. To earn money. These are programs, which are made for people with no sense of logical problem solving or strategical thinking.
This means that the software is not made for power users, but made for the ease of use for the user. This isn’t a bad thing, but it meas that the software doesn’t teach the user anything about computing. Instead, it teaches the user to become good at one thing; using proprietary software made by a commercial business. Computing is made to make complex tasks easy. Not make easy tasks easy.
The problem isn’t alone created by the attitude towards computers in schools. It’s the attitude of the people themselves. They say they can use a computer, and thus are unwilling to learn how it truly functions. In schools, students are limited by the computer setup too. The school actively denies access to core functions of windows to install even the most basic of programs.
To be able to install a program you need either of two things: Have a portable edition of the program, or carry a bootable drive with you. Some software developers release portable editions, such as git and notepad++. If you ask the average student, they will look blindly at you if you tell to get a portable Linux installation or download the portable edition.
There are much better and much more open systems available to give students full access to the computer while still having a secure school network. Software such as Deep Freeze would allow the students to have full admin access to the computers, break the windows installation and be restored after a reboot. This would allow students to experiment with windows and install their choice of programming languages and editors.
In my previous school, in the first year, we had “IT lessons”. These lessons were conducted by a teacher without a clue of how to turn on the computer. What s/he knew however, was how to use a typewriter. These lessons were essentially 40-minute long typewriting lessons advertised as IT. When one started to do something more meaningful, for example, to install a python interpreter, we would have been disciplined in a variety of ways. Of course, those of use that had something better to do would to hide it from the teacher and pretend we were “Learning how to typewrite”.
As it stands right now, after visiting 2 different high schools, they both were actively supressing students from exploring programming and computer sciences. This is a serious problem if students are to first learn about this in college. Personally, I find myself to know more about computers then new college students taking a degree in computer science.
This is a major problem if this generation of people are supposed to be working in the field of computer science and IT. If new students are actively denied access to computer science education, then who is supposed to develop the next big thing?