pygmy_giant wrote:Python is todays popular language, but it will not always be that way. What kids really need to learn is the principles of programming and the flexability to apply them to any language. As with spoken languages, that starts with getting cosy with a single language and then branching out. When my 8 year-old enters the job market people will say 'Oh yeah, I remember Python - that was good in its day, but everyone uses Teapot++ these days'
Yes BASIC can
a good starting point, however most BASICs with or without line numbers do not use block structures and similar portable methods.
Python, PHP, RubyonRails, Java and many other languages have many similar structures and methods with less major syntax changes between them, as they are classed as 'C' like, which a lot of languages are.
Python and to a certain extent PHP from command line, allow fairly easy introduction to programming, whereby a simple file can be edited then run, no pesky compilers, linkers, resource controls to deal with.
Starting programming from command line basis and using simple print and input type statements from the keyboard is by far easier than MOST
graphical methods as they spend ages making forms, buttons, backgrounds and very little on the code. The main exception to this is scratch, where I have seen 11 year olds produce some pretty good games in that.
When I look at syllabus for GCSE and A level, BASIC is rarely there, in some cases they insist on Pascal, but often they have a choice with things like Python, PHP, Java and C the main ones. Most exam boards eventually managed to drop Visual Basic three years ago, thankfully.
With the Pi and GPIO it becomes possible to do basics of programming and programming to the real world easier than on a desktop PC, in languages like Python that can be used on desktop and
the Pi, no teaching of too many different languages to a beginner. The code looks similar and helps the transitions between platforms.
Just another techie on the net - For GPIO boards see http:///www.facebook.com/pcservicesreading