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Chatting with the computer is a challenge

Spanish children and youth are able to use mobile phones, tablets, and computers easily.

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Chatting with the computer is a challenge

Spanish children and youth are able to use mobile phones, tablets, and computers easily. Although they are digital natives, they can navigate through apps, chat, and the internet with ease. However, the majority of them aren't capable of using the computer to communicate with it, or creating their own programs. This is unrelated to the commercial and other interests that tech giants have. They don't know how program.

Francisco Vico, professor of Artificial Intelligence, University of Malaga is certain that any boy who isn't proficient in the basics of computational language within a few years will fall prey to a new form of illiteracy. He will be similar to the person who, decades ago, did not know how read or write. He assures that the new generation will be able to learn the language of machines. It will not only give them professional competitive advantages but also increase their mental capacity and equip them with the skills necessary for problem solving and decision-making.

The computer engineer Vico was in Malaga to speak at Next Spain, the new forum for technology and the meeting place for the sector. He predicts that programming will be valued more than any second language. Vico, who created the first computer capable to compose music a decade ago, has dedicated five years to his dream to make sure that Spanish schoolchildren are able to complete compulsory education with at most basic programming knowledge.

I realized that computing concepts and methods were too complicated for adolescents and children. Muhammad needed to climb the mountain. He created the platform "Toolbox". Academy, which is used by over 500 schools and institutes in Andalusia, the Basque Country, as well as in Colombia, Chile, or Mexico. 22,000 children in Primary and ESO have been able to program with it.

It's a simple way to teach programming to children of all ages. It contains content that can be used during the teaching of Mathematics, Physics and Biology. Each child's effort is allowed to make progress almost indefinitely. Programming, like all languages, is something children can learn almost instantly.

Vico completed his method using five-minute audiovisual tablets, the "Txac Planet" (Canal Sur, ETB) and an annual competition between schools called the "TXACkathon". Now he is trying to convince businessmen, families and administrations to go to the next level, the "TX10". The course is a ten-hour, entertaining course with stories, songs, and challenges. It was designed to help schoolchildren 6-18 years old learn programming skills that will allow them to "jump the initial barriers" and continue their education.

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