antiloquax
Posts: 406
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Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:51 am

Hi,
I have been listening with great interest to the media buzz about programming and the RP. I teach in High School in the UK and I have just set up a programming club. I have limited experience, but I am learning Python as fast as I can!
I have set up a blog here:
http://teampython.wordpress.com/

I would love it if members of this forum had time to have a look and maybe leave a comment. There are some nice screen-shots of my old laptop running Wary Puppy Linux and Python 3.2.2 (but maybe I am the only person who gets excited about this!).

I'm am really fired up about this - the coverage on the Today programme, Click On, PM (all on Radio 4) as well as in the Guardian newspaper has been so inspiring! And yes, I did use to go into Dixons and write little programs on their BBC micros to annoy the salesmen too!
mark

antiloquax
Posts: 406
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Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:53 am

Oh, that reminds me - I had a little Casio programmable calculator (with a qwerty keyboard) when I was at school. I used it to hack my homework. Did anyone else have one of these?

Willofield
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Location: Oldenburg, Germany
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Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:11 am

Quote from antiloquax on December 3, 2011, 08:53
Oh, that reminds me - I had a little Casio programmable calculator (with a qwerty keyboard) when I was at school. I used it to hack my homework. Did anyone else have one of these?

Yes, since i was in the 5th grade back in 2006 (currently i'm in 9th ) i use the Texas Instruments Ti-84+ , it was also the Device where i started programming (mainly programs to solve Homework and other stuff and some little games like "guess the number" etc. )

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croston
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Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:33 pm
Location: Blackpool
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Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:43 am

I am a Linux/python specialist but not a teacher. I am however a STEM ambassador looking to start a computing club at my local school, maybe working along the lines of your blog.

The good:
I really like what you are doing here. Can't wait to see what direction you take for future posts. The deep end with lots of detail or just the basics? Pygame? Loops/if statements? Strings/integers/floats?

The bad:
Looking at your screenshots you are running everything as root. This is a very bad idea - use a normal user account with lower privileges. Do not teach bad habits!

antiloquax
Posts: 406
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Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:28 pm

Thanks Croston. I am going to try to cover some basics (next will be variables, conditionals ans while loops) and after that try to get into pygame / graphical stuff.
Point taken about working as root - Puppy lets you work as root by default, but I can login (I believe they call it the "fido" option!). I'll look into that later today.

I'm really pleased you had a look and commented - many thanks!
mark

SeanD
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:25 am
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Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:56 pm

Quote from antiloquax on December 3, 2011, 08:53
Oh, that reminds me - I had a little Casio programmable calculator (with a qwerty keyboard) when I was at school. I used it to hack my homework. Did anyone else have one of these?

I had one that had a very (excuse the pun) basic implementation of BASIC on it in the mid 80's it could have been a Casio, I really cannot remember.

RobotGuy
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:16 pm

Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:53 pm

Had one of those myself (a quick Google shows it was probably a Casio FX-730P) with only a single line of 24 characters as a display it was never easy to write or debug programs. Apart form a few basic games that I wrote when I first got it, the most it got used for were 5-10 line programs that performed those tedious and repetitive calculations that you need to do when doing A-level physics and analytical chemistry experiments.

Gave up on it when I found my University's policy on calculators was a single model which had to be bought from them and specially marked.

antiloquax
Posts: 406
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Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:32 pm

Yeah mine was the FX 700P
<img src="http://calculators.torensma.net/files/i ... x-700p.jpg"/>
I used to program it to do my Maths "O" Level work. The trick was to get it to print out the working also! I had a lot of fun and use out of mine. I programmed it to play some games (eg a version of the code-breaking game "Mastermind").
Happy days!

Penfold_m
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:54 am

Good luck with this! Sounds great. I ran an informal programming club in a school about 3 years ago, with 12/13 year old children, boys and girls. I used Python and found it worked well. The club was once a week for an hour or so, running for about 10 weeks.

I was aiming to emphasise general programming ideas, rather than any particular language or programming environment. I chose Python hoping it would be both easy to get started with, and quite powerful and well supported for those who might continue with it. The other thing I did was to introduce a simple 2D graphics library early on, so the coders could get some nice visual results with short programs.

Sadly, I had to stop when I changed jobs and couldn't get time off in school hours. I hope to look at this again soon (work permitting), with R-Pi in mind too.

Anyway, I hope your club goes well.
Mike

antiloquax
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:37 am
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Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:52 am

Thanks Mike, and all who have responded.
There are a couple of new posts on my blog. I'd love a few "follows" and comments!
So far it's all very simple stuff, but I am going to put up a "hack your homework" program that does mean, median and mode a bit later today.
http://teampython.wordpress.com/

Mark Hudson
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:30 am
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Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:03 am

I'm also a teacher but had a past career with hardware/software integration, so I'm relearning. As well as Python I have been using Processing and Kids Ruby, both of which were recommended here a couple of months back. Processing has been REALLY good with loads of code examples to learn from..

browdee
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:33 pm

Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:44 pm

Hi,

@antiloquax, fantastic that you have started this off in a blog. I'm the father of (too many) children, my eldest being twin boys aged 5. As soon as I can get my mits on a RPi I'll be getting one for each of them and will be exposing them to a whole new universe...

Its many years since I had my hands on any programming language aside (ah, the memories of the 8080 are coming back to me - as are the nightmares of ADA...). I want my kids to get turned on by the whole field and fear that the wrong approach will do the opposite. If they are not technical, then fine, but I want to enthuse them, so...

Calling all teachers out there: Where do I start???

I have plenty of free time at present, so If I can be of any assistance with your blog content (or if you have wider plans??) then please do ask.

oceaneng
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:52 pm

Re: A Teachers Programming / Pi blog

Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:37 pm

How about math? A good understanding of math (binary/hexadecimal number systems, basic algebra, etc.) will be invaluable to learn computers/programming (while on the side helping them at school!) Win...Win.

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