Educational programming language

From Academic Kids

An educational programming language is a programming language that is designed primarily as a learning instrument and not so much as a tool for writing real world application programs.

Some examples

  • Pascal was the traditional choice in introductory computer science classes for teaching students the fundamentals of programming.
  • Many computer science teachers today prefer Scheme as the introductory programming language of choice.
    Some people argue that learning Pascal requires students to spend too much time mastering its syntax rather than developing the essential skills needed for effective programming.
    Some others argue that Pascal is less expressive than Scheme, imposing too many limitations on students, who end up spending too much time coping with the idiosyncrasies of the language instead of focusing on the solution to the problem at hand. Nevertheless, Scheme has grown to become a serious application programming language, suitable for many kinds of real life applications.
  • Logo is a language that was especifically designed to introduce children to programming. An abstract drawing device, called the turtle, is used to make programming for children very attractive by concentrating on doing turtle graphics. Experience shows that children do learn to make the turtle (that is, program the turtle to) draw all kinds of pictures on the screen, starting with simple lines and moving later to the fanciest pictures.
    Nevertheless, Logo is not a toy language: it is quite expressive and can be used by experienced programmers as well to write real life application programs. Logo is especially suited for introductory training in developing applications in the field of symbolic programming and artificial intelligence.
  • A++ represents a more recent attempt at creating a programming language designed to provide an efficient tool for basic training in programming.
  • Karel and Karel++ are languages aimed at absolute beginners, used to control a simple robot in a city consisting of a rectangular grid of streets.
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