Tools for Elementary School?

Howard Dunlavy home at dunlavy.net
Tue Feb 4 03:22:45 CET 2003


I gave a presentation about careers in computer science at my son's
Elementary school on Friday.  I also setup a Internet for them using Plone.

Anyway, during the presentation one of the teachers mentioned that the
students used to program using the built-in Basic language in their older
PC's and Mac's.  They got rid of the last computer that had this about 3
years ago.  They were wondering what they could do like this now.

So I was thinking that perhaps Python is a good language for these kids to
learn.  A couple of questions along this line of thinking:

1.  Has anyone had any experience using Python as a teaching language at
this age level?  How would you compare Python to Basic for this purpose?

2.  Does anyone have suggestions for tools for this environment.  Python
offers the interpreted interactivity of Basic.  Are there any tools out
there that would be simple enough for these kids to use, but might be more
helpful than just the "command line".

3.  Finally, does anyone know of any tutorials or other education materials
that might work for this age group.

Thanks!

-Howard






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