[help] The Child asks a question

the_child has asked for an introduction to computer programming. I am seeking advice on both a grade school level introductory text on programming, and the appropriate language/development environment which can be installed on her Macintosh.

2 thoughts on “[help] The Child asks a question

  1. Jaws says:

    I am not a purist on these things. On one hand, the best introductions to programming concepts seem to be written for college-level audiences (I’ve looked at many of the others, and they don’t cut it); on the other hand, a Mac???? for which the “point” is that only professionals program????

    Probably the most-accessible compromise would be Programming for Dummies, which I used with a ten-year-old to demonstrate that programming really isn’t for dummies… it requires planning, planning, more planning, and a little bit of creativity at the end for the problems that you can’t plan your way out of. Its real problem is that it focusses on a DOS/Windows BASIC variant as its programming environment, which has the twin disadvantages of being about BASIC (a language that encourages sloppy program-safety practices — imagine a table saw with no blade guard) and not in the Mac environment.

    Rather than an actual introduction to programming, have you considered an introduction to logic? You can sell that by pointing out that it’s then trivial to translate a good logic system into actual programs in whatever programming language one has handy, while simultaneously teaching her how to express that ability to dress a moose is not relevant to qualification for political office. 😉

  2. Jay says:

    Well, yes. And thank you.

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