I remember fondly the interactions I had with Jr High students when I was teaching electronics in High School. Those younger kids came after school to a Amateur Radio Club up at the Sr High because they really wanted to get their license, build their own transmitter, and learn about electronics.
I rededicate myself to my belief that there are many kids in their young teens, who would really like to learn about computers, and how to program them. I would like to expand upon PyDebug, to develop a family of software tools, which will lead learners down the programmer path.
I worked pretty hard to make sure that PyDebug would run on all the early builds. Now that build 852 is available, with its full gnome desktop capability I believe that compatibility with earlier builds is no longer critical. Any enterprising teen should be able to get his XO unlocked, and upgrade to a full gnome platform. So as I try to imagine what the next pieces in the software development curriculum should be, not everything needs to be sugarized to be useful.
Next puzzle pieces
Seems to me that every young developer should have facility with a good text editor. I recently verified that yum repositories loaded Build 852 with “vim” and “gedit”. All that remains is to verify, and perhaps think about how localized versions can be orchestrated.
Very quickly, students need to be exposed to the html-client-server world we are developing. I’d like to identify the best open source html editor that runs on the XO (I’m currently interested in Bluefish). Do we need an activity that encapsulates a php enabled apache server? I’d like to look into packaging sqlite admin that runs under xulrunner, for teaching and learning about databases.
Maybe there’s a database application which catalogs music and/or images I could develop into an Activity, primarily as a software example and learning tool.