User: Password:
|
|
Subscribe / Log in / New account

The next generation of Python programmers

The next generation of Python programmers

Posted Apr 24, 2014 4:30 UTC (Thu) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389)
In reply to: The next generation of Python programmers by wahern
Parent article: The next generation of Python programmers

> If you need class time, please walk away.

Not every family can afford a computer to cede to their child(ren) for tinkering.

> In reality computer science classes in high school will just be an excuse for kids who are already programming to pad out their schedule. Maybe they take comp.sci classes instead of calculus or AP history.

IME, those who are programming on their own wouldn't seem to be just padding their schedule (frankly, the college course I did take my senior year for programming was almost[1] a waste of my time since by the end of the semester we had gotten to for loops…) and are more likely to have an interest in the other sciences and take those AP courses.

My high school didn't have AP-branded courses before I graduated (and when I took the AP tests, we were slightly different, but at a comparable pacing), but I'd be more likely to believe that rumors of difficulty (Advanced Bio for my high school) scare more students away from the advanced courses than "but I can just take this easier class" from those who even consider AP classes in the first place.

[1]I got transfer credit, so it gave me an extra elective in college.


(Log in to post comments)

The next generation of Python programmers

Posted Apr 24, 2014 7:37 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

> Not every family can afford a computer to cede to their child(ren) for tinkering.

This is exactly where the Raspberyy Pi (and similar) should come into play. At $25/student (they don't need network to get started) this should be able to be something like their school books that can be provided to every student. It's also the type of thing that is sexy enough to be able to run a fundraiser (or apply for donations/grants) to fund if the school can't afford it directly.

The next generation of Python programmers

Posted May 1, 2014 11:30 UTC (Thu) by farnz (subscriber, #17727) [Link]

You also need a screen and a keyboard. Call it $35 for Model A and a reasonable keyboard (assuming that kids can use a household TV for a screen), or $135 (allowing for the cost of a reasonable second hand TV as a screen) for kids whose parents won't let them use the household TV.

The next generation of Python programmers

Posted May 1, 2014 13:24 UTC (Thu) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

There's also a router and Ethernet cables to get if you're just riding on an ISP-provided modem. Or wireless, but then you lose half your USB ports.

The next generation of Python programmers

Posted May 1, 2014 21:20 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

why do you have to have Internet access for a programming class?

Yes it's convenient, but that's not the same as mandatory.

The next generation of Python programmers

Posted May 1, 2014 21:27 UTC (Thu) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

The start of half of this was:

> If you need class time, please walk away.

so this wasn't about the class time anymore (I was asserting that class time may be the only time you have access to tools). For a *class*, sure a network isn't necessary, but for self-teaching at home, I'd think it'd be more beneficial than a book these days (hell, there are online books that are better than dead-tree books[1]).

[1]http://learnpythonthehardway.org/

The next generation of Python programmers

Posted May 1, 2014 21:38 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

you should be able to have the electronic copies of the books that they need on the SD card that they boot from.

While I agree that Internet access (and the ability to search for answers) is very handy, I disagree that it's a requirement for someone at home to learn programming.

I know that if it was mandatory, I would never have learned ;-)

The next generation of Python programmers

Posted May 1, 2014 21:26 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

you don't need a "reasonable" keyboard, you need a keyboard. These are cheap and you can probably get donations pretty easily.

Yes you can say that they need to spend $135 to buy a TV, but given that you can get a HDMI/DVI monitor for <$100 on sale, why would you spend more?

And that's assuming that they can't use the TV. It's also possible for them to use the monitor and keyboard of the family computer without using that computer (with all the things people are worried about there)

It's also easy to have a 'lab' at school that just has TVs, or TVs + Pi computers (without the SD cards) so that there is no software maintinance hassle and let the kids use that at lunch and before and after school (you do need to pay for a teacher to sit in that room during that time)

Yes, there will be kids this doesn't work with. There are kids that schoolbooks don't work with, but you can get pretty good coverage here cheaply.

The next generation of Python programmers

Posted May 2, 2014 10:27 UTC (Fri) by farnz (subscriber, #17727) [Link]

I think you've misunderstood my numbers; they're cumulative numbers. So, I've taken your $25 for a Pi and a memory card, and added $10 for a keyboard (Amazon Basics keyboards are $11.49, so $10 isn't unreasonable for a keyboard). This gets me a basic price of $35 for a usable device for a kid; note that IME, many family computers now are laptops without separate keyboards.

Then, I looked at Amazon.com for the price of a monitor. $100 seemed to be about right for a cheap TV or monitor, sans delivery. Allow for the fact you're buying in bulk, and you should be able to get monitors for $100 for the kids who can't use their home TV. That gets me to a total of $135 for kids who can't use a home TV either.

The next generation of Python programmers

Posted Jun 9, 2014 21:09 UTC (Mon) by Duncan (guest, #6647) [Link]

Monitors, $40 shipped (17" LCD), pricewatch.com.

Now based on years of shopping there and due to volatile prices and occasional undesirables at the very bottom, I tend to figure a bit up from very bottom, but there's several listings at $45 and more at $50, $55 and $60. So $50 is a good estimate, and that's shipped to anywhere in the continental US, so it's a reasonable quote for the US, at least.

$10 looks about right for keyboards, but at a guess a mouse would be useful as well. I see those for $5.30 shipped, or 10-packs for $4.00 each ($40). There's also keyboard/mouse/speaker combos for $20 or $18 each ($180) in 10-packs.

So let's do the $35 Raspberry Pi B as it's what's recommended for schools, $50 monitor, $20 keyboard/mouse/speakers. $105 total. With a $45 monitor it's $100, total. Tho that doesn't include case.

(Meanwhile, googling for this I see some very nice looking Pi starter kits. They're out of the price range discussed here and are more on the hardware hacking side, but for ~$80-130 they generally include the pi and a case, plus leds, resistors, documentation, etc. There's similar available for Arduinos, etc. Just the sort of thing I'd have loved to have as a kid. =:^)


Copyright © 2017, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds