My OLPC Journey July 2011
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July 2 SimCom's success has led me to think about going further and introducing students to programming using a computer language. Sippy is a great activity but I feel we need a bridge in the same way as the Turtle Machine is a bridge to Turtle Art.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about which language and how to present it. I've finally decided on a Python Tutorial. I was going to use Browser but I decided to go for something simpler - the last week has been spent creating a page renderer - best part is I'm able to add features as I need them.

So here's a first look at how it's all going. Of course this dramatically breaks with my mantra of "no words" but, hopefully, one of these days I'll find some translators to collaborate with.

July 6 Tute is going well and I'm up to Page 9. I've also completed the Table of Contents renderer.

But wait! There's more! I've decided to package the activities 10 at a time for Windows users. Of course they'll have to install Python and Pygame first but my instructions will include that information. Here's the end result on my XP from the All Programs menu:

July 15 Wow! This tute is slow and painstaking work! I'm beginning to wish I'd never started! After many false starts, I'm ready to start introducing pygame ... here's my first tentative step:

And I've managed to package up another 10 activities for the Windows folk.

July 17 Finally finished the Python Tute - here's the last page:

Of course this activity is unlike all my previous ones.
I expect that only a small number of students will tackle it.
Its purpose is to enable keen students to investigate whether they have a bent for computer programming.

July 18 The Windows versions are now available for download - please let me know if you try them out.


July 26 Just couldn't help myself! There was so much else I wanted to cover in the Python Tutes - animation, transparency, polygons for example - but most important of all ... classes!
So Python Tute Two is already well under way. Here's a peek and, yes, the windmill blades are spinning!