[Edu-sig] Teaching GUI's in Python?

A. Jorge Garcia calcpage at aol.com
Wed Nov 9 18:47:36 CET 2011

Vern Ceder <vceder at gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Brian,

On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 10:58 AM, Brian Wilkinson <Brian.Wilkinson at ssfs.org> wrote:

Hello everyone,


Our upper school, looking to beef up their technology offerings, offered an introductory programming course this year using Python.  I am normally a technology coordinator, supporting teachers and students, but was tapped to teach this class (which I have thoroughly enjoyed so far).  The purpose of this course is to try and get kids excited about programming and so I would like to teach them a bit about graphics and GUI’s.  My initial thought was just to have them work with tkinter, as that (to me) seems the easiest path.  After doing some reading, it looks as though wxPython and pyQt are popular options as well.

Great news! Every programming course (especially Python programming course) in high school is win!


So finally to the questions:


1) Is teaching basic graphics too ambitious for an introductory course?

Not at all.


2) If the answer to #1 is no, do folks out there have suggestions for the best tool to use with the students?

While there are many other tools, they all have the drawback of requiring extra installation, etc. That may be okay for school machines, but it can then be a bit of hassle for some kids if they want to install the same environment at home. So personally, I always tried to keep things as simple as possible. So my suggestion for an intro class would be to use the turtle library - it can do a ton of things, even to the point of creating reasonably fun games. Once you outgrow the turtle library, I'd suggest the next step is PyGame...

Good luck!! and keep us posted!





I have enjoyed reading this group this year.  It has been a big help.


Brian Wilkinson

Sandy Spring Friends School

Technology Resource Coordinator


“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”


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Vern Ceder
vceder at gmail.com, vceder at dogsinmotion.com
The Quick Python Book, 2nd Ed - http://bit.ly/bRsWDW

Sounds like good advice! Are there any curricular materials for introducing the turtle library that you can recommend?
A. Jorge Garcia
Applied Math and CompSci
Sent via DROID on Verizon Wireless
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