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Re: Junior Perl

by Xxaxx (Monk)
on Jun 12, 2001 at 10:53 UTC ( #87738=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Junior Perl

In addition to the many good comments in the above material I'd like to suggest a deliberate use of XtremeProgramming. That's just a fancy schmancy phrase for two people working at one computer on a program of mutual interest.

If you daughter happens to be a fanatic on any given subject, such as a singing group or favorite cartoon it might be possible to create a useful script which would serve her keen interest. A database of all known Pokemon might be good for some kids. Or perhaps for a young girl a Barbie's Diary program. For an introduction to programming it might be great fun to do a project with you. But the results will need to be very inspiring.

If you want to get a youngster interested (and capable) at solo programming it might be a good idea to look into something such as Legos robots. They have a fun interface. You can "write" programs to make the robots do things, then download the program into the robot. While this is not a highly developed language it is one you can quickly turn a youngster loose with. This is very similar to the old Turtle program from Pluto (Plato?) days.

For a rather young programmer I think the best approach is to infect them with the delight in having the environment do stuff based on commands written into a "program". For this the loop (and frustration cycle) between command and "cool stuff happening" should be minimal. Later when they are a trifle more developed Perl is excellent.

Have a fun and productive summer,

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Re: Junior Perl
by Odud (Pilgrim) on Jun 12, 2001 at 13:11 UTC
    I was reading about XP a few weeks ago - lots of the ideas will translate well into teaching a youngster I think: stories rather than specifications, incremental changes, testing first etc. From the start I wanted this to be a joint exercise rather than just sit her in front of the screen and let her get on with it - we should both gain from it - she learns to program and I learn to teach at a much lower level than I'm used to.

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