It may be surprising to some, but many people are only interested in computers as a consumption device rather than a tool; for example preferring to watch YouTube rather than write a novel in Word. However, when it comes to the coding of computers to create games and apps, there is even less interest and that's something Microsoft aims to change with their new computer science course.
The course makes coding less intimidating by using a simple programming language to develop real games and apps giving each student a sense of a achievement at the end. The coding is done using Microsoft Touch Develop which is a simple visual way of programming with a touch interface and it works with any browser on any Operating System.
In the past, we've told you about how Touch Develop can be used to develop Windows Store apps so it's more than a capable language. Once a student has mastered it, then they can go on to consider more powerful languages. Tom Ball who worked on Touch Develop is happy to see the language used in this new course saying:
It’s not so much about learning Touch Develop, Touch Develop is the vehicle to learning about computer science concepts.
Microsoft's new course is aimed at people with little to no experience in coding (including educators) and even people who would never consider doing it. The course can be taught using any modern web browser so it will even work on phones and tablets. It's also a provides everything a teacher would need including lesson plans, presentations, student assignments and quizzes. The course is flexible and can accommodate the free time available in the semester.
This is a smart move by Microsoft and it would be even smarter for schools to take up the curriculum. Computers aren't going to go away any time soon and will most likely become more prevalent so the more coders we have out in the world, the better.
You can check out the course here.