in reply to Re: Perl High School
in thread Perl High School
For students starting to learn rapid positive feedback is very helpful. This is why Logo and StarLogo are such good langauges for young (elementary school) children. Perl is a good choice because you don't have to set up all that much to get something useful out of it. Kudos to hsweet for thinking of it and having the courage to run with it.
Java is probably a really bad choice for kids, because even very trivial Java programs need a lot of stuff set up. Fortran and C are intermediate on this measure. Note that this is not a criticism of Java as a development language for computer professionals.
There are a few other instant feedback languages. Forth and APL are both cute, but probably too hard. Mind you, Forth is probably a good introduction to computer internals. In some respects it's a readable assembler! Basic is also a good choice, although GW-basic was better for this than Visual Basic. The problem with Basic is that it's too hard to take it further. Good programming practice in Basic is not very extensible, whereas good programming practice in Perl will carry kids a very long way.
There's at least some case to be made for exposing kids to several languages. This shows them that there is really more than one way to do it. Balancing education against total confusion I leave to more skilled teachers than I.
P.S. I learnt to program using MS-Basic on Dos 2.1, Dbase II on CP/M and PL-1 on IBM mainframes in that order :-> I don't necessarily recommend this, but it might make a fun poll.