[erlang-questions] Erlang for youngsters

Torben Hoffmann torben.hoffmann@REDACTED
Mon Jun 16 21:36:27 CEST 2014

Miles Fidelman writes:

> Lloyd R. Prentice wrote:
>> Hi Torben,
>> +1 for for teaching Erlang to kids.
>> Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I was founding editor/publisher 
>> of Classroom Computer News, the first magazine in the U.S. devoted 
>> exclusively to instructional computer applications in K-12 classrooms. 
>> Subsequently I founded a company largely devoted to development of 
>> educational and consumer software for major publishers. We developed 
>> over 100 products ranging from Pockets the Learn and Do Kangaroo for 
>> pre-school youngsters to Algebra I for the high school set to The 
>> Scarsdale Medical Diet for obese adults for publishers ranging from 
>> Bantam to World Book.
>> I bore you with this to make several points:
>> 1) Don't underestimate what properly motivated kids can learn--- 
>> they're hard-wired to learn
>> 2) Don't underestimate intrinsic curiosity as a motivator--- at least 
>> until it's squelched by repressive pedagogy
>> 3) Create exploration environments to leverage intrinsic curiosity
>> 4) Break the learning tasks into single key concepts that rest 100 
>> percent on what the youngster already knows so concepts build one upon 
>> another
>> 5) Keep it playful and fun
>> 6) Tie the concepts into real-world (the child's world) issues and 
>> concerns
>> 7) Challenge the youngster, but make success attainable
>> 8) Reward success
>> 9) Empower the youngster with demonstrable knowledge and skills that 
>> matter from the kid's perspective
> Good points all.
> Re. motivation: Robotics is big right now - particularly in the context 
> of Lego Mindstorms and then the FIRST Robotics competitions.  Erlang, as 
> a language for robot behaviors (subsumption architecture) and 
> cooperating robots, might be really cool.
> Miles Fidelman
At ESL we had an intern who created a buggy using Erlang:

Code at https://github.com/ivaniacono/ebuggy

As you say Erlang is really good to structure hardware related things. The actor
model shines here.


Torben Hoffmann
Erlang Solutions Ltd.
Tel: +45 25 14 05 38

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