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[REBOL] Re: teaching rebol

From: tim:johnsons-web at: 1-Apr-2003 12:11

Hello Rebols: I haven't followed this thread closely, but I noted earlier that I believe that it started with a posting from Gerard Cote, who had contacted me at an earlier time because he know that I had designed and taught an intro to programming class using rebol. Let me share some of my observations after building the course and "teaching" 3 semesters of rebol and 1 of python: Let me point out also that this is an "online" school. 1)Distinguish between Teaching programming using rebol - and - Teaching rebol programming. ==>> As we know, rebol has some unique features 2)Consider some custom features to make the command line more interesting and user-friendly. ==>>MIT Scheme is a good example. I believe that some of the features reside in works that rebol gurus have contributed to the library, include console history features. 3)Consider your targets: If your targets are programmers who want to learn to use rebol productively, start with 'words..... take it from someone who's been there, if you don't understand 'words thoroughly (and I must confess that I still don't as much as I would like) you don't thoroughly tap the power of rebol and set yourself up for hard-to-trace errors. If your targets are youngsters just learning programming - is it fair to just train them to use rebol? Or is it fair to make clear distinctions between variables and 'words. In my class, (which is a very basic intro), I treated 'words as variables. Although, I did info some of the more advanced that there were distinctions. 4)My experience is that in the high school system (Alaska, USA) there is a very low completion rate among students. The conclusion that I came to after teaching 3 semesters of rebol and one of python, (in an online venue) is that online courses should be used to support trained instructors who teach real "brick and mortar" classes. It is a different situation for a motivated adult who might see learning rebol or any other programming language is part of career path. My two cents worth. "get 'em while they're young" :-) -- Tim Johnson <[tim--johnsons-web--com]>