Thursday, September 5, 2013

Education in Technology

When I was nine years old, my dad brought home a Commodore 64. We were one of the few to actually have a computer in our house. This helped me to be at the forefront of technology all through school. I took any and all classes I could that had to do with keyboarding and computer skills, including programming. I loved technology and anything to do with it. Then, I got married. At that point, though I still used a computer for work and other basic things. I let my husband handle all the technical stuff. Fast forward 16 years, and I am way behind in this full speed ahead field.

I was excited to get a chance to review the TeenCoder program from Homeschool Programming. It would be a great elective credit for my new high schooler, and maybe I could learn something at the same time.

A short time ago, we invested in a new computer, because all our computers were the age of Methuselah in computer years. We were having a difficult running any programs, and I knew to get my son through high school we would need to upgrade. Our new computer came with Windows 8. That alone was a bit of an adjustment for me.

There is a point to that interjection. I tried to load the TeenCoder program onto the new computer and I lost it. I am not sure what happened. At this point, my husband had to step in and save the day. He was able to find the files, but couldn't figure out how to get them to run. His suggestion was to try it on the old computer. I am very thankful for his assistance on this project. He was able to get everything loaded and working on our old Windows XP laptop.

That is when the teen got involved. He opened Chapter 1 of the Windows Programming to learn C# programming skills. He started to read, and then his brain shut off. He was completely overwhelmed and confused. I need to say that he loves the computer, and probably has more technical skills than I do at this point. He does struggle a bit with reading and following directions, though. I thought, now how am I going to review this program? Insert helpful husband back into the picture. His job is in a technical field, therefore I figured he would be very useful in trying to figure out the directions.

He opened Chapter 1 of the Windows programming and attempted to follow the directions. He could not figure it out either. He said it seemed like there was some information missing. He even cheated and went to the solution manual and still couldn't figure it out. He thought maybe the Game Programming went first. I told him no, that is listed for the second semester. He tried it anyway. Still no success. I tried to look at the chapter, and really it could have been written in Greek and made as much sense to me.

Usually, I can come up with something positive to say about most everything I review. Unfortunately, this one stumped three of us. So unless you have a kid that is really into programming, I'm not sure I would spend $130 on the complete package. However, please don't take my word for it. Go read some more reviews here. I'm sure there are other Mosaic Reviewers who had a better experience and were able to get it to work. You will also find some reviews of the KidCoder version for upper elementary/middle school.

I received this program for free in exchange for my honest review.

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