Teaching Children Programming and Linux

Scott Elcomb psema4-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at public.gmane.org
Fri Jul 18 14:40:29 UTC 2008

On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 10:01 AM, Lennart Sorensen
<lsorense-1wCw9BSqJbv44Nm34jS7GywD8/FfD2ys at public.gmane.org> wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 08:12:16AM -0400, Kamran wrote:
>> I would be interested to hear experiences and recommendations that any
>> of you have teaching young children how to program and how to use Linux.
>>  My niece asked me the other day "Are you going to teach me all about
>> computers?"
> You could teach them LOGO, Pascal, and python.  Python makes it easy to
> do nifty graphics and sound stuff too without having to get into boring
> details.  The python pygame library in particular is great fun to play
> with.

I came across this blog post this morning and seems fairly relevant in
support of using Python to help teach programming.


"Recently I've been thinking a lot about how we can get more people
involved with programming. I don't necessarily mean programming as
professionals, but just to develop enough of an understanding on what
software is and how it works. So I wrote a book aimed at teaching
games programming in Python to the 9 to 12 year age range (get 'em
while they're young). In my "Python is the new BASIC" post, (which was
a plug for my free, Creative Commons-licensed book, "Invent Your Own
Computer Games with Python") I received this comment:

    You know, I took a look at that game book and it struck me how so
1980s the thing was. It brought me down to memory lane.

    Now, looking at the alternative (Squeak), which is fully OOP all
the way down to the very menus and icons, buttons, which has a much
richer environment and is totally ready for multimedia, along with the
derived (written in Squeak) Scratch language, I think it's very bad
that we're returning to Basic.

    Kids deserve something better in 2008, and we can deliver it, just
as long as we keep our prejudice at bay against Smalltalk (because it
really is about prejudice and lack of information)."

 Scott Elcomb
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