Results 1 to 17 of 17
Like Tree3Likes
  • 1 Post By wsaryada
  • 1 Post By KevinWorkman
  • 1 Post By gimbal2

Thread: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

  1. #1
    Fleet is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    3
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    I've just been asked to teach a class in Java for younger kids 8 to 14 years old.
    I have a long background in programming other languages, but am COMPLETELY new to Java.
    I'm hoping to get a few recommendations!!!
    I need to teach myself quickly, and teach my class at a level that younger students may follow.
    That said, if this class is like previous classes I've taught, they will be smart kids! I believe they will be able to handle anything we throw at them that is straight forward and well outlined!
    Two questions please:

    1.) Is there a particularly good programming book that would make a good text for my class?

    2.) Is there a free or downloadable compiler / IDE that is most popular?

    Thanks for all help and recommendations!

  2. #2
    wsaryada is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Bali, Indonesia
    Posts
    760
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Hi,

    I believe this place is a good start, checkout https://java4kids.java.net/. For more resources I think Google can help you better :) Happy teaching!
    Fleet likes this.

  3. #3
    KevinWorkman's Avatar
    KevinWorkman is online now Crazy Cat Lady
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,000
    Rep Power
    10

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    I *highly* recommend you use Processing: Processing.org

    Processing is built right on top of Java, so you're learning all the same syntax- variables, functions, if statements, loops, etc. But Processing is designed to be used by non-programmers (artists, designers, etc), and it's easy to get something visual and interactive up and running without all the boilerplate code that usually comes with Java.

    Under the hood, Processing is "just" a Java library and a specialized editor that handles a lot of the setup for you. There's a bit more to it than that, but those are the basics.

    You could even introduce the basics in Processing and then switch to Java once they're passed the hurdle of using basic syntax.

    Processing is especially useful for educators, since it's part of the Code.org Hour of Code initiative, which has a ton of resources for teachers. Here is Processing's hour of code: Processing Hour of Code | Home And here is the Hour of Code educator resource page: Teach the Hour of Code

    It's sorta my life mission to get into the education side of things using Processing and Java, so I've also written tutorials available here: Static Void Games - Tutorials I'd be thrilled to talk more about this stuff.

    If you're really stuck on core Java and *can't* use Processing, then I honestly recommend just using a basic text editor and the command prompt to compile and run a novice's programs. Or you might want to check out Project Greenfoot: Greenfoot
    Fleet likes this.
    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way
    Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn from game tutorials and source code, upload your own games!

  4. #4
    gimbal2 is online now Just a guy
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    4,150
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleet View Post
    1.) Is there a particularly good programming book that would make a good text for my class?
    Not really. Head First Java 2nd edition is okay because it aims to teach through puzzles and games. But you can do that yourself too without a book.

    2.) Is there a free or downloadable compiler / IDE that is most popular?
    That is not what you want to ask; the most "popular" free IDE would be one that is used by people who have a strong technical background and that is not the audience for which you will be selecting the IDE. You are probably better off using Netbeans or even BlueJ. BlueJ


    But IMO Java is a -really- poor choice to teach to such a young crowd; I wonder what the goal is. -Must- it be Java, or is the aim to teach programming? I hope it is the latter, in which case Kev's suggestion is excellent.
    KevinWorkman likes this.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

  5. #5
    gimbal2 is online now Just a guy
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    4,150
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Other suggestion: Java "on a computer" is a really old fashioned thing and thus has a long history and has been expanded and developed for decades; that history makes it more confusing as you also have an entire backlog of things which are "not done" anymore.

    What perhaps might also work because it is far more identifiable for them youngun's is to actually teach Java in the context of building an Android app. The language is slightly simpler, the API is simpler and the target platform is something any teen will know and understand.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

  6. #6
    KevinWorkman's Avatar
    KevinWorkman is online now Crazy Cat Lady
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,000
    Rep Power
    10

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I'll just note that Processing can also be deployed to Android, again avoiding all the boilerplate that Android normally requires.
    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way
    Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn from game tutorials and source code, upload your own games!

  7. #7
    gimbal2 is online now Just a guy
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    4,150
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Lol :) It really is a mission. Let me add that my previous reply is an intended response to if "it must be Java".
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

  8. #8
    Fleet is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    3
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by gimbal2 View Post
    Other suggestion: Java "on a computer" is a really old fashioned thing and thus has a long history and has been expanded and developed for decades; that history makes it more confusing as you also have an entire backlog of things which are "not done" anymore.

    What perhaps might also work because it is far more identifiable for them youngun's is to actually teach Java in the context of building an Android app. The language is slightly simpler, the API is simpler and the target platform is something any teen will know and understand.
    Wow! I've gotten some wonderful advice and direction from everyone!!! This is really great...
    What you propose however is REALLY interesting. I mean, EVERY kid would like to design an Android or Ipad app.
    Where does one start to learn to write an Android app?
    Can programs be written and tested on the school's PCs?

  9. #9
    Fleet is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    3
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Thanks... Yes, I would not have chosen Java for the class. I think that was a political decision. But, as mentioned, kids in past classes have blown me away with how quickly they learned other languages. I have a 14 year old son myself who is currently writing software in C and Python at a near commercial level. These kids have literally grown up with a computer in their hands. It's amazing. Thanks for the feedback!

  10. #10
    ravidamarla is offline Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    2
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Hello user if want u learn java or teach java follow this website Tutorialsera

  11. #11
    SurfMan's Avatar
    SurfMan is offline Godlike
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    1,002
    Rep Power
    3

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by ravidamarla View Post
    Hello user if want u learn java or teach java follow this website Tutorialsera
    Normally I don't follow linkspam, but out of curiosity, I have checked this site out. What I suspected: don't bother. If you are creating a tutorials site, make sure every single character is correct. In most code examples, you are not even following your own chapter of naming conventions. I won't bother putting all my comments here. If you are interested in a review, post this site in "Reviews", and I'll be happy to comment.
    "It's not fixed until you stop calling the problem weird and you understand what was wrong." - gimbal2 2013

  12. #12
    JosAH's Avatar
    JosAH is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Voorschoten, the Netherlands
    Posts
    13,679
    Blog Entries
    7
    Rep Power
    21

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by SurfMan View Post
    Normally I don't follow linkspam, but out of curiosity, I have checked this site out. What I suspected: don't bother. If you are creating a tutorials site, make sure every single character is correct. In most code examples, you are not even following your own chapter of naming conventions. I won't bother putting all my comments here. If you are interested in a review, post this site in "Reviews", and I'll be happy to comment.
    A few months ago that poster posted the same link and I did the same what you did: I read the crap and posted a comment: Help with a very simple program? Thanks!

    kind regards,

    Jos
    cenosillicaphobia: the fear for an empty beer glass

  13. #13
    SurfMan's Avatar
    SurfMan is offline Godlike
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    1,002
    Rep Power
    3

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by JosAH View Post
    A few months ago that poster posted the same link and I did the same what you did: I read the crap and posted a comment: Help with a very simple program? Thanks!

    kind regards,

    Jos
    It's his only two posts. I wonder why people keep thinking: "Well, *MY* tutorial is better than all the others!". Especially the makers of the tutorials from +91...
    "It's not fixed until you stop calling the problem weird and you understand what was wrong." - gimbal2 2013

  14. #14
    KevinWorkman's Avatar
    KevinWorkman is online now Crazy Cat Lady
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,000
    Rep Power
    10

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleet View Post
    Where does one start to learn to write an Android app?
    The short answer: while writing Android apps is a fun idea, it's not exactly friendly for novices. There's a lot of boilerplate code that you need to be able to generate just to get something basic up and running, and the tutorials assume you already know the basic syntax, object-oriented programming, how to setup a project, etc. You should know Java before trying Android. I could see Android being the focus of a follow-up course, but it seems like a lot for an introductory course, IMHO.

    If you want to start learning Android though, the Android tutorials should be your first stop: https://developer.android.com/training/index.html

    The alternative is to use something like Processing which simplifies all of that for you. You can deploy to either a PC, to the web, or to Android using Processing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleet View Post
    Can programs be written and tested on the school's PCs?
    With Processing, this is as simple as switching which mode you're in.

    With anything more complicated, you can use the Android emulator that comes with the Android SDK, but that can be a pretty painful process, even for an experienced developer.

    You might also want to look into a framework called libGDX which allows you to write games in Java, then deploy them to the web, as an application, or as an Android app. Again, that's not exactly for beginners though.
    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way
    Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn from game tutorials and source code, upload your own games!

  15. #15
    gimbal2 is online now Just a guy
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    4,150
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    My girlfriend, not knowing any Java but being an experienced PHP programmer, had little trouble picking up Android app development using stupid Youtube videos even; she had her first non-trivial thing already running on the first day. On that basis I made the suggestion, I am utterly clueless about it myself.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

  16. #16
    KevinWorkman's Avatar
    KevinWorkman is online now Crazy Cat Lady
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,000
    Rep Power
    10

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by gimbal2 View Post
    My girlfriend, not knowing any Java but being an experienced PHP programmer, had little trouble picking up Android app development using stupid Youtube videos even; she had her first non-trivial thing already running on the first day. On that basis I made the suggestion, I am utterly clueless about it myself.
    That's interesting. I've done a few Android projects, and all the tutorials seem to require a good amount of prior knowledge. It took me a while to figure out how the GUI you specify in XML magically links with the actual code you write.

    Mostly I meant that Android has even more boilerplate code than Java: Java is bad enough that you have to have a class and a static method just to print something to the console (which confuses beginners who want to know what these magic words mean but wouldn't be able to understand them yet), but Android requires a ton of files in specific locations, a class that extends Activity... and that's before you write a single line of code.

    That's why I think Android isn't a great choice for complete novices. Beginners need to work though basic syntax and up to OOP stuff before trying to tackle Android. Heck, I don't think Java is a great choice for novices either. Processing is a great way to teach the basics without worrying about all the boilerplate code though (the dead horse is not doing too well, ha). And the higher-ups who decided the class should use Java should be happy too, since Processing *is* Java.

    However, maybe there are some great tutorials out there for complete novices getting into Android that I haven't seen (I hate video tutorials). I would guess that your gf's exposure to PHP went a long way to her understanding the basic syntax though.
    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way
    Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn from game tutorials and source code, upload your own games!

  17. #17
    gimbal2 is online now Just a guy
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    4,150
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Teacher Looking For Recommendations

    Well you do hit the nail on the head - my GF is an experienced developer and works with tools requiring the same amount of boilerplate so its much easier to make the transition. The suggestion becomes pretty poor when this is for novices knowing your experience.

    So yeah - I take back my suggestion; it sucks ;)
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-09-2012, 12:12 AM
  2. Java Book Recommendations
    By regor in forum New To Java
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-07-2011, 08:27 AM
  3. IDE recommendations
    By BiteMuncher in forum New To Java
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-04-2011, 09:01 AM
  4. programming recommendations
    By xujava9 in forum New To Java
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-30-2010, 12:23 AM
  5. Recommendations for Code obfuscation
    By piyu.sha in forum Advanced Java
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-15-2008, 05:44 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •