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Finally, a Way to Teach Coding to the Touchscreen Generation

•, By Marcus Wohlsen

For these kids, who learned to walk and talk as smartphones and tablets were saturating the cultural landscape, a computer with a physical keyboard is archaic and distant, a clattering tool their parents use. The Touchscreen Generation experiences computing as something immediate, direct, intuitive—not as an interaction that happens in a slightly removed way, where the screen and what happens on it are mediated by keys, mice, or trackpads.

And yet there's a different kind of distance that touchscreens create. Seamless interactions with touchscreens depend on the seamless packaging of apps into self-contained experiences. What kids gain in directness, they lose in an appreciation for how the software on the screen really works, how it was built, how they too could build it.

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