zappauk2003
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:22 am

I have already ordered my RasPi and want to use it for several things, one of which is to get my lad interested in programming and maybe start making some simple games together.  I have virtually no knowledge my self so will be learning alongside him and looking at doing it as a joint venture.

Now firstly would Python be a good choice as it seems like a language that is quite interactive and might hold his attention sufficiently to then move on to Pygame and more interesting things subsequently.

Which Python should I start on with him whilst waiting for my RasPi, version 3 or 2 because I have read that Pygame isn't compatible with version 3 and obviously I would like to move onto that eventually with him because he would love to be able to write simple games.  What is also confusing me is the fact that no one seems to know which version of Python will distribute with the distros which suprises me as when I have installed Linux on desktops both versions 2 and 3 have been available to install.

Just hoping to get him into programming and give him some very useful tools for the future.  Hopefully Daddy being as thick as he is in the beginning makes it more fun, less intimidating and means we learn at our own speed.  Loved to get to Qt with him in the future but obviously want to start off in the best way not to scare him for life and hopefully Python wouldn't be a bad choice.

Any thoughts from the community on this and any suitable newbie guides that are available for free online.  Or am I barking up the wrong tree and should be starting elsewhere, I want him to get the programming bug at a young age.  Thanks.

ringz
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:02 am

Hi zappauk2003,

While you are waiting for your Raspberry Pi to arrive you can always follow these tutorials and put an environment similar to the Raspberry Pi on your current computer.

This is the link to the first part where Liam shows us how to set up the VirtualBox manager that runs linux in a window on your current computer.



Martyn.

SeanD
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:44 am

I would start off initially with Scratch and then move on to Python and Pygame.  Scratch will get you some results real quick and act as a good introduction to many of the concepts you will need later.

The fact that you know about pygame and QT suggests to me that you know where you want to go with this stuff.  Have fun with your kid and do not be to upset when they overtake you.

zappauk2003
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:27 am

Thanks, I won't get upset when he leaves me for dust, I am expecting no less.  That Scratch looks perfect to get a simple concept in his head of change code = instant result, should definitely prick his interest with that excellent suggestion.  Will do that first and take it from there.

Just noticed Jasemans tutorials with 3.2 and pygame and they look cool so will go that root at a later date and hopefully by then he will be hooked, maybe even the 14 year old might get jealous and have a dabble.

Ringtz, don't need the debian install has I've used it for a few months on a laptop (along with Mint, Fedora, Ubuntu and the one I liked best open suse).  Looking at the options in the distros will be trying a few of them but will probably be most likely to be using Debian, but hell Sd cards are cheap so why not have a choice, that's what linux is all about.

Jaseman
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:48 am

I will be re-issuing my tutorials once I have a Raspberry Pi computer, and know which version of Python and Pygame is going to be included on the standard SD card.

I also have a 6 year old (7 in July) - Not sure I could keep his attention long enough to do programming, but I found he was more interesting in the visual side of things, so graphics might be a good place to focus.

I hope you enjoy the tutorials, and if you need any help, don't be afraid to ask.

Regards.

antiloquax
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:05 pm

I really like Scratch. I think it helps children to think like programmers and makes it fun. You might find a couple of posts on my blog of interest - they are a bit simple, I"m afraid!
http://raspberrypy.tumblr.com/.....-found-out

tech_monkey
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:56 am

@Jaseman my soon to be six year old  would also have the same problem. But he already speaks two languages which is one more than me and some would say 2 more.

I think my nine year old might enjoy some of the programming especially if it was colourful. So any tutorials suited to this age range would be fantastic.

I have already put network sockets in the kids rooms.
http://www.casatech.eu

Jaseman
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:20 pm

tech_monkey said:

 I have already put network sockets in the kids rooms.

I have to admit, this made me giggle.  Normally, parents put a mobile over the babies crib, not CAT5 cables!

Jaseman
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:45 pm

'Oh he is adorable!  Have you decided on a name yet?'

'No, but he does have a static IP address'

'Darling, I think we should try for another child'

'Look, honey we've been over this - There are just no ports left on the router'

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croston
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:48 pm

Jaseman said:


'Oh he is adorable!  Have you decided on a name yet?'

'No, but he does have a static IP address'

'Darling, I think we should try for another child'

'Look, honey we've been over this - There are just no ports left on the router'



I hope she has not heard of IPV6!

jamesh
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:35 pm

antiloquax said:


I really like Scratch. I think it helps children to think like programmers and makes it fun. You might find a couple of posts on my blog of interest - they are a bit simple, I"m afraid!
http://raspberrypy.tumblr.com/.....-found-out


Scratch works fine on the Raspi. It's a bit slow moving the code blocks around, but in general perfectly usable. We just need X acceleration on the GPU.....someone.....
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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lobster
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:41 am



Dear Friends of the Raspberry Pi Ella,

All I know about kids is they have the best toys and . . .

well it is just not fair!

Personally I believe the geek breed of kid should be able to program before they can read  . . .
In part the solution is scratch, logo and a new symbol based language for two year olds using a touch screen that has been written by their 8 year old siblings . . .

We need smarter kids, we need more of them and we need them sooner rather than later.
We are already starting here but I am used to teaching adults. Help and advice needed on dealing with the young programmers of all ages . . .

Raspberry Pi Blog

Jaseman
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:24 pm

Here's a nice little program to type in with your son (You're half way to writing Pong):

import pygame,os,sys
from pygame.locals import *
pygame.init()

os.environ['SDL_VIDEO_WINDOW_POS'] = 'center'
pygame.display.set_caption("Bouncy Ball")
screen = pygame.display.set_mode([1024,800],0,32)

background = pygame.Surface((1024,800))
ball = pygame.Surface((100,100))

x = 100
y = 350
right = 1
up = 1
speed = 7

while True:
for event in pygame.event.get():
if event.type == QUIT:
pygame.quit()
sys.exit()

pygame.draw.circle(ball, [255,0,255],[50,50],50)

if x >= 924:
right = 0

if x <= 0:
right = 1

if y <= 0:
up = 1

if y >= 700:
up = 0

if right == 1:
x = x + speed

if right == 0:
x = x - speed

if up == 1:
y = y + speed

if up == 0:
y = y - speed

screen.blit(background,(0,0))
screen.blit(ball,(x,y))
pygame.display.update()

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SN
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:26 pm

And herein lies the problem. Whilst a pong or breakout game would have kept us happy back in the 80"s its going to be tricky persuading the kids of today. . . I guess what I am saying is that targetting games programming may not be the best approach. . . Not that I know what the best approach is mind. . .
Steve N – binatone mk4->intellivision->zx81->spectrum->cbm64->cpc6128->520stfm->pc->raspi ?

Jaseman
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:39 pm

You would be surprised.

My son likes to play Burnout Paradise on the PS3, but he still enjoyed typing in and running the little program above.

It took him a while to find the keys on the keyboard - spelling out each word.

The buzz comes from being in control of the program.

For example, I asked him 'What colour would you like the ball to be?' and 'How fast should it go?', and he giggled when we got it to bounce around the screen at great speeds.

In that example, it might not necessarily be a ball that is bouncing between boundaries - there are times when you might need to have numbers ascend and then descend based on an event.  The x or y variable could equally be looking through records of a database, musical octaves, or voltages to a motor.

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meltwater
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:57 am

Yep, programming becomes the game, and there is nothing better than building something yourself and seeing it work (ok-I'm a bias engineer).
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antiloquax
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:45 pm

I agree totally. The fun is in the fact that you make it yourself the only limits are your imagination and programming skill.

In an article in the Observer, said coding is:


the nearest thing to magic that we've yet invented. It's pure "thought stuff" – which means that it enables ingenious or gifted people to create wonderful things out of thin air.


Yes - although perhaps it's more like Lego / Meccano!

gimliflea
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:01 pm

I thought that all software engineers knew that hardware is glorified lego. Software is much more complicated - that's why bugs are allowed. Bugs in hardware are undocumented features.

I'll be off then.

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meltwater
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Re: Want to learn programming alongside my 6 year old.

Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:32 pm

Hardware isn't lego, it's wooden blocks...they pile them up and see if they balance or not.

Software is like making a domino run...there is always one which doesn't quite fall how you wanted, but you only find out when you knock-em down.
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A Magazine for Raspberry Pi Users
Read Online or Download for Free.

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