locked Re: Splash Screen Poll #poll

Richard Russell

On Sun, Feb 4, 2018 at 04:25 am, Paul Marshall wrote:
I dont know how you can make it appeal to young people in the way it did to us
You choose to ignore the fact that BBC BASIC is still, to this very day, taught in a number of schools and until quite recently was actually recommended by the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR) examining board as a suitable language for teaching programming for their Computing GCSE.  I have in front of me their coursework book from as recently as 2016 and on page 211 it states "The code samples included in the chapter have been written in BBC BASIC".  It's not only UK schools that teach BBC BASIC either, within the last year or so I sold a site licence to a school in New Zealand!

It's true that Python is currently more popular in schools, but those teachers who remain enthusiastic about BBC BASIC point to BB4W's ability to create compact standalone executables as something that sets it apart - and Python's dependence on whitespace to indicate program structure upsets a lot of educationalists.  This comment was posted to the Computing At School community site only recently: "The best mini course I ever taught and the one we went back to after Greenfoot was BBC BASIC...  The tutorial was excellent: all the boxes were ticked, from matching a specification at GCSE when students go there, to moving from pseudo-code to code, to covering all the basics in an easy way.  I’m all for progress but sometimes, I think we forget we have already invented the best way of doing something, or invented the best language for teaching beginners!"

So whilst nostalgia is not necessarily a bad thing, you do BBC BASIC a disservice by implying that its "days are gone" when there is clear evidence that it is not the case.  One thing's for sure, by being so pessimistic you have a big impact on my own motivation so it could easily become a self-fulfilling prophesy.


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