[Edu-sig] trails through the ecosystem: language sequence

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Sat Aug 1 07:44:24 CEST 2015

> In sum:
> Python first
> Bridge to Java
> Tackle concurrency in Clojure (runs on JVM)
> back to Python, add more layers and polish
> ===
> DB stuff:  SQL + noSQL
I've continued to refine this model and have distilled what I consider
vital content to three tracks:

1. Python -> Java -> Clojure (in that order)
2. XML / HTML / CSS / DOM -> JavaScript
3. SQL -> noSQL

with an emphasis on:

1. Graphics 2D & 3D  (Turtle / Tractor)
2. Server side Web Frameworks (e.g. Flask)
3. Data Wrangling (includes visualizations)

Then the next question is how to provide a unified Ux i.e. we don't want to
keep switching learning environments (OSs & IDEs).

I've been seeking advice on the Clojure list regarding IDEs of choice,
having proposed a candidate that also works for the others.

I'm not billing this as a CS degree course given I'm already operating in
the dot com, not dot edu domain.

These would be certificate series, same as usual.

The design is purposeful about getting to JavaScript on the server, not
just in the browser.  That's our jumping off point to Node.js which might
be tacked on to the JavaScript track.  https://nodejs.org/

In a next iteration of an on-line school, I'm assuming students each get an
EC2 instance on AWS.

That's not the blueprint we're currently using at my workplace, but the
intent is the same:  provide students with a way to engage with the
material *without* having to download a lot of stuff to their own devices.
The Ubuntu desktop stays in the cloud, playing the role we use Windows for
today, with Eclipse for an IDE.

In terms of marketing, yes I'm looking at grades 10 - 16 i.e. we can start
up with Python, a little SQL, a little HTML / CSS in high school, in
conjunction with everyday mathematics and other STEM topics.

Accelerated high schoolers already take college level courses and sometimes
gain early college admission.  Individual locales can decide what credit
applies.  In Michigan, high schoolers get to take on-line courses in
proctored settings known as Nexus Academies.

However, we would expect the bulk of our students to have already completed
high school before tackling something like Java then Clojure.

But just because we help students meet local requirements in grades 10 - 16
doesn't preclude a more general many-walks-of-life population from diving
in.  Most our students today have been adults.  Outreach to high schoolers
is still a new idea and some bureaucratic wheels might need to turn before
that's feasible (for any dot com certificate series school, not just ours).

I expect many on-line schools to be tossing a hat in that ring, regardless
of what we do or don't do.

Distance learning is still in its infancy and there's room for many brands
of pioneer.


> L -- OS level on down to hardware
> A -- All lower level server processes e.g. httpd
> M -- Persistence Layer (keeping / updating state)
> P -- Application layer (hosted processes e.g. PHP's)
> i.e. it remains useful to break it down that way.
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