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Re: [K12OSN] Advocacy in Curriculum

On 12/20/06, Shane Sammons <shane sammons gmail com> wrote:
I am probably one of the younger ones in the list, I am 25. I personally
agree with Todd. You can teach at any age they can type comfortably.
However, like he said best to have a reward/purpose they can see. I myself
am a very hands on visual learner. For me this field and profession is only
fun because I can "see" my results. I despise using the command line because
it does not suit my personality/style but I use it regardless because of the
power it holds. If all I had was the command line or script interface I
would likely go nuts.

It took me years of coding in HTML, Perl, PHP, Visual Basic, etc. to just
get past the code and realize the goal I was trying to achieve. It was only
once I got to see a website, GUI interface or results in the GUI I felt
excited. I know this is common, but I have met people who get a thrill
writing perl scripts and such that simply swap Apache installations or
something totally unseen from visual perspective only known if you
investigate the system. I think most kids are like me with attention spans,
they need to see fruit of their labor.

Yes I experience the same with my students. But instead of using VB
look at how easy it is to code "Hello World" GUI in pyFLTK (a python
wrapper for FLTK) without using a GUI drag-and-drop builder:

from fltk import *

def button_callback(widget):
    widget.label("Hello Again")

window = Fl_Window(200,90,"My First GUI Program")
button = Fl_Button(9,20,180,50,"Hello")

(I am sure pyGTK or pyQT are similar although they use signals/slots
instead of callbacks)

Then you pick your top kids make a club, and have them dive in deeper and
become the next series of IT people to come into the world :D.

On 12/20/06, Todd O'Bryan <toddobryan mac com> wrote:
> I'm getting a thin terminal lab after break and am interested in
> developing a curriculum that would exist in parallel with the
> programming classes I teach so that students learn a little bit more
> about Linux each year in my class. Ideally, by the third year, they'd
> be able to take and pass the Linux+ exam that CompTIA offers (because
> our state vocational ed department is just gaga over industry
> certifications).
> I'll let you know what I come with, assuming I actually manage to
> come up with anything, but would be very interested to see anything
> other people have developed.
> Todd
> P.S. I think you can teach command line stuff as soon as they can
> type fast enough that it's not frustrating. The key, though, is
> motivation. They're not going to want to use the command line to do
> something they can do easier with the GUI. Finding tasks that are
> easier with a few typed commands would be key to making it
> interesting for students.
> On Dec 20, 2006, at 1:03 AM, Robert Arkiletian wrote:
> > On 12/19/06, Kari Matthews <karisue gmail com> wrote:
> >> Wow.
> >>
> >> At what age/grade should we start them on command line, in your
> >> (anyone's)
> >> opinion?
> >
> > My intro Python/Linux course is offered to students starting in
> > grade 10 and up.
> >
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Robert Arkiletian
Eric Hamber Secondary, Vancouver, Canada
Fl_TeacherTool http://www3.telus.net/public/robark/Fl_TeacherTool/
C++ GUI tutorial http://www3.telus.net/public/robark/

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