Since I have come to love Linux, I decided to start a Linux User Group at my high school in Los Angeles. A few weeks have passed since its start, and something was bothering me. Students generally don't care about Linux because they are all used to Microsoft or Apple, and sometimes even Google. I've also tried holding a Linux installfest for some laptop users to no avail. The majority of students hesitate at this, and I understand. In this Microsoft and Apple-dominated world, people prefer conforming to software standards set by such companies rather than actually making software. Linux appreciation, I realized, can't happen without appreciating programming first.
Personally, Ubuntu, coupled with a smartphone, has been a major stepping stone to appreciating the web. But I knew students needed some guidance to see themselves not just as users, conforming to existing software, but potential creators of great software, to innovate the technology of tomorrow.
Although I had to step back, I stumbled on this solution.
What a treasure! It didn't matter whether one was an avid programmer or novice. I only programmed in C, Python, and bash - I'm still studying introductory texts - for only a few months now, but having the opportunity to teach and learn programming together sounded extremely exciting. Already, I already envision myself hosting this in my school and probably in my local public library. That would mean a shift in agenda after all.
I am not trying to advocate Codecademy as the sole means to an end. On the contrary, I believe the tool Codecademy provides facilitates in sparking fire for programming.
Students - teens and young adults - if you love to program and want to enlighten others to do so as well, why not introduce this to your schools? Check out that afterschool kit and see how to work it out. Not surprisingly, this method isn't just limited to students. Adults too can try it out this out.
So I'm stepping back on Linux advocacy for now. Before advocating Linux, I have to advocate programming.
What do you think of this approach? Would you try this?