[Edu-sig] Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Sun Jun 28 20:18:42 CEST 2009

Yo guy!  <-- New Jerseyism (a home sweet home)

Looking forward to posters about your work at Pycon, fed through our
VC, showing kids blissing out on Turtle Art, indeed a perennial genre,
see no chance of its fading, just abetting with "3D" turtles in a
turtle tank (yes already been done, I know that, by coders more
skilled than I in those ways -- plus I say "4D" cuz I'm a buckaneer
contrarian with a "geometry of lumps" from ToonTown (another of
Portland's many monikers, e.g. Beervana, Bridge City, FOSS Capital
etc.** )).

Note:  during Shuttleworth Summit in London that time (with Alan Kay),
we had the paradigm school teacher ("teach students, not subjects")
who showed me what commercial Logos are like, way ahead of anything
open source (more like Sims), which is why I don't have that either/or
attitude, allow proprietary games to be delivered by armored car if
necessary (protecting source).  Some software is very closed for a
reason:  you don't want the chipmunks getting into it.  That being
said, many closed projects use open libraries, improve on them,
strengthen them, and contribute them back (I usually cite
ConocoPhillips at this juncture, but we all have multiple silos we
could name, especially if we've been doing FOSS for long time).

I'm also continuing to have high hopes for PDF as a standard textbook
delivery format, have the Sandes book in that, or did on my Jackalope
SATA HD (in a dead carcass at the moment, still salvageable, along
with Litvins digital math tome (Pythonic)).  PDF has under-exploited
features as Alan Potkin well knows -- I passed a demo of his off to
that GIS boss at GIS in Action 2009 in Washington State, where I had a
packed room eager to learn Pythonic lore (unlike at OS Bridge, where
the recession-minded saw little future in "high school math teaching"
(and who can blame 'em, the unions have that track pretty well sewed
up at the moment, are sitting pretty behind a firewall, comfortably
protected against geeks (except in the rag-tag newer charters, elite
academies, and international schools, where we're making lots of

In general we're looking for more TV shots of happy campers waving
their MIT XOs, as that's probably the only positive PR the USA is
getting in most corners, yet the teletubbies in charge of the airwaves
(not VOA, illegal to face inward) have done a miserable job with OLPC,
applying their stupid know-nothing cynicism, not getting this was a
last opportunity for that much vaunted "generosity" to show itself
(but what we heard was a lotta whining, cuz you couldn't just G1 at
Circuit City (now gone)).  How many more companies will shut down
and/or get snarfed up by the competition I wonder (I hear the Russians
control Exxon, not sure I believe it, although it's true Anheuser Bush
has reverted to European).



** Vancouver BC is laying claims to the latter, doing the Munich thing
of switching to FOSS as a municipality, which doesn't mean "no
Microsoft" (given Codeplex etc.), however PDX doesn't cede its crown
so easily, given we're doing so much with the new curriculum (gnu
curriculum), including hosting a G1G1 last year.

On Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 1:29 AM, Edward Cherlin<echerlin at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have to write up some lessons on how to start programming in Python
> in the Sugar version of Turtle Art, where there are two programmable
> tiles. One accepts a Python expression, and the other reads in a
> Python file.
> The easiest Hello, World program in Turtle Art uses the Print tile.
> Just type in the text you want the Turtle to display. We can introduce
> more complex tile-based programming techniques, and then show how each
> can be done in Python by using the programmable tiles, and by
> examining the quite modular Turtle Art source code in Python. Then we
> can show students how to create their own tiles, and move up gradually
> to creating a new Sugar Activity.
> I intend to teach Python as Computer Science, not simply as program
> syntax and features. Making the CS topics accessible to students at
> just the right level, without driving any of them away, will be one of
> the hardest parts to get right. Ordering topics according to both
> meaning and dependencies on other topics will also take a lot of work.
> Also a lot of fun.
> I have spent the last few week experimenting with the latest version
> of Sugar on a Stick (Sugar set up for installation on a bootable USB
> flash drive) and also writing a book for FLOSS Manuals on Open
> Translation Tools. So I have lots more to tell you, but no way to say
> when I can do it yet.
> On Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 6:38 AM, csev<csev at umich.edu> wrote:
>> Warren and Carter - congratulations on your book.  I just reviewed it in my
>> blog and twittered about it.
>> Here is the text from my blog post - (feel free to correct me )
>> Chuck Severance
>> www.dr-chuck.com
>> I am an advocate for using Python as a first language and for using
>> programming as a tool to explore abstract concepts and technology literacy
>> (Informatics) starting in elementary and middle school. Here is a book
>> written for kids using Python that looks like it can support making Python
>> accessible to younger learners.
>> Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners
>> The book is written by the father and son pair of Warren D. Sande and Carter
>> Sande.
>> Here is an interview with the author and his son on Canadian Television with
>> the authors:
>> http://watch.ctv.ca/news/clip186877
>> Here is the web site for the book including several sample chapters:
>> http://www.manning.com/sande/
>> This is very cool and I will buy the book and then review it in more detail.
>> On first glance looking at the sample chapters and table of contents, it
>> looks well siuted for K-12 applications since has many short chapters, gets
>> into graphics quickly using its own GUI (easygui), and is careful to have
>> lots of additional explanation in areas that readers might have questions.
>> Of course since Carter Sande is still in K12 it is very natural to have it
>> structured properly for K12.
>> Perhaps after they get done with Warren and Carter's book - the students
>> will want to web programming on Google App Engine! And of course there is a
>> book for that - Using Google App Engine.
>> This all moves us further down the path of technology literacy based on
>> foundations of open source technology and transforming K-20 education to
>> include technology literacy at the right places.
>> Congratulations to Warren and Carter!
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> --
> Silent Thunder (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) is my name
> And Children are my nation.
> The Cosmos is my dwelling place, The Truth my destination.
> http://earthtreasury.org/worknet (Edward Mokurai Cherlin)
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