[Edu-sig] "Croquet Project" and Python ?

David Handy david at handysoftware.com
Thu Oct 21 06:45:36 CEST 2004

On Wed, Oct 20, 2004 at 10:07:40PM +0200, francois schnell wrote:
> David Handy a ?crit :
> >Writing computer games is far and away more educational than using
> >(playing) "educational" software. When I was a teenager and dinosaurs 
> >roamed
> >the earth (early 80's) I wrote games and simulations, and so did my 
> >friends.
> >One of my ambitions with the book I have written is to try to rekindle that
> >"lost art" among today's youth.
> >
> I believe kids in the 80s (muself and you) are very different from kids 
> from today.
> In our time we had to learn verticaly (teacher -> student). Today's kids 
> are completely rejecting sometime violelently  this model.
> They seem to learn mostly horizontaly through internet and ICT (with all 
> the goods ans the bads things).

I didn't learn computer programming in the early 80's from a teacher,
nor in school. I learned from books, experimentation, and occasional
help and guidance from mentors.

I suspect that young people today are less technically literate than
before.  I don't think youth are any less smart, they just have less
time.  After watching a few hours of Reality TV, playing "Grand Theft
Auto", and hanging out in chat rooms, you're lucky if you can get any
of your schoolwork done, let alone read books or work on "extra"
projects that result in real learning. I don't think immersive 3D
online experiences are going to help this situation.

> >I have had at least some success in my
> >previews so far, which gives me some hope.
> > 
> >
> It seems interesting, which book are you talking about (references) ?

I'm referring to a book I have written, but not yet widely published, for
teaching beginners computer programming using Python. The book is
titled "Computer Programming is Fun!". It is being used by an 8th
grade class in Vermont (Hi, Rich!) and also several families in the
Raleigh, North Carolina area. The web site is at:


The success I referred to was that an 11-year-old boy last week
emailed me a computer game he wrote after reading the first few
chapters of my book. Things like that really make my day bright!

> I did an example of programming (flash recording) in E-Toys for kids 
> there.  It give you an idea of the "old" E-Toys in  5 minutes (sorry for 
> my bad english):
> http://francois.schnell.free.fr/bazar/squeak/Etoys_lab_demo_GB/EToys_lab-demo_GB.htm
> It is just the visual part for kids but you  can access the 
> "professionnal code" with one click and mix both.
> Thanks
> Francois

I tried to view your demo, but the web site was down.

David H.

More information about the Edu-sig mailing list