cbc at unc.edu
Sat Feb 6 01:20:57 CET 2010
On 2/4/2010 9:35 PM, Joseph Mack NA3T wrote:
> you reply to everything else here.
Almost everything. I hope you know it's because I care. :)
> I get mail OK from trizpug at python.org
> so I'll reply on-list this time.
That's good procedure.
>> There is a Python course taught at UNC now.
> I was looking for something for a high school student. Presumably this
> course you mention is a regular credit course?
Yes. Tom Roche knows more about it than I do. Tom?
Joseph, I thought you taught the high school students?
That's a great thing, what you do. There was a whole PyCon about that. A
panel at UNC also concluded that the best thing you can do to spread
FOSS is enlist FOSS soldiers while they're young. The advice: go forth
and teach high school kids how to program Python.
I think you and I talked about materials to teach kids Python in the past.
We first have to mention TriZPUGer David Handy's specific course for
teaching Python to kids:
Although younger kids use it, from what I've seen, it would be fine for
A few high school students came to a TriZPUG meeting once with their
parents. This is what they were using and they rather liked it:
Sorry for all the Amazon links. It was just easy. Buy books wherever you
Basically, games seem to be the ticket with kids, according to the
conventional wisdom. So maybe this one as well:
This is the new latest super strong mind warp for very, very beginner
programmers using Python:
It has some game things in it, but not to the degree of PyGame. And
there's a lot of business-y kind of stuff in it which people who study
how to teach programming to kids have told me will just turn them off.
However, it really does assume that you know absolutely nothing about
how to program.
Now, the ironic thing is that book was supposed to have originally been
written by someone else (the book was at least two years late being
published from when it was originally announced). The first author
signed to write it was Dr. Vern Ceder from Canterbury School in Fort
Wayne, Indiana. He gave this awesome talk at PyCon 2007 about teaching
Python to high school students:
He had a class where out of twenty students, only one student really
liked it. So he used student feedback to rewrite his course. What he
found was he could increase the number of kids in the class who really
liked it to six by throwing out the shell and teaching only from a
graphic package. That's why the talk is called "Goodbye Hello World."
Dr. Ceder's MoinMoin page is here:
He's reported to be amenable to sharing his curriculum with other
teachers. He just released this new book:
Anyway, he based his graphic Python in the classroom approach using this
rather old PyGame package:
which is used in at an annual and inexpensive Python kids summer
programming camp in the UK. They seem to get more girls than boys at
that camp. I don't know if that had to do with being faith-based camp or
not. But good work!
When it comes to low-entry Python graphics packages, I think of:
I don't know of any high school level courses built around it. But there
are two college physics books built around it:
The author teaches with those books at NCSU and was the featured speaker
at the March 19, 2009 TriZPUG meeting.
You might get some traction from this email list:
A lot of people there are using the standard library turtle.py module.
You have to be careful with turtle. It was completely rewritten for
The Python EduSIG page on the Python.org wiki is a voluminous list of
resources, some of which are suitable, some of which, of course, are not:
Check this out:
It has two boring chapters and then Chapter 3 jumps straight into
turtle.py. Then it goes back to boring for four chapters. Then back to
turtles. And then into Tkinter.
Of course, you really can't talk about teaching Python to kids without
talking about Rurple:
and I highly encourage you to look at that. It's very cool and much like
other robot war programming environments.
>> And there are short Python workshops taught on campus by others.
> where should I look for them?
Well, campus workshops are for campus people, pretty much. This groups
has been giving Python workshops:
This one is coming up:
But I'm pretty sure that's for people in the College of Arts and
I wish Mr. Jeff who is teaching these things would come to TriZPUG
meetings. Mr. Stephan, would you please see if Mr. Jeff would subscribe
to the TriZPUG email list? I don't want to be the only one inviting
folks to church.
>> "There may or not be a local Plone Boot Camp, depending on what Joel
>> Burton decides. He decides in his own time and lets me know when he is
> I'll watch here for it
That's the thing to do. This email exists pretty much for each of us to
let the others know what we are doing, python-wise, when it is time to
let people know.
I want Mr. Frank to talk about the Sauce Labs open space coming up at
PyCon in two weeks.
The new Active Python includes pip and distribute instead of setuptools:
BTW, here's how to win a free pass to PyCon:
office: 332 Chapman Hall phone: (919) 599-3530
mail: Campus Box #3300, UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
More information about the TriZPUG