Let the adventure begin. Next week the new semester begins. I had 12 sophomores and juniors in my Programming I class last semester. Usually Programming II keeps 2 or 3. This time I kept all 12. They did not like the alternative elective. In a small school there are not a lot of choices so I am getting a number of kids who are operational in Scratch, start having trouble in Small Basic and are not really interested in programming. I also picked up another class of three senior boys who had no place to go. (We make them go to school here.) Being kind hearted and weak minded I said I would offer them Programming II during my free period. Considering one has no programming experience and the other two had Programming I as sophomores it should be interesting. The one acceptable thing is all my Programming classes are going to be on the same sheet of music for once. Even my two advanced kids are going to be doing the same language. Next semester there will be 20 kids in Programming II. That is pretty good for a school of 170 students.
I am going back to Corona next semester. I dabbled in it last year with some success. Corona is software for writing apps for the iPhone and Android devices. There is a free version that is unrestricted except for the ability to post the apps on the internet. It is possible to install an app directly from the computer to an Android device so a kid can actually put something they wrote on their phone. (No such luck with the iPhone.) This time I actually have a text to work with. Dr. Brian Burton is in the process of writing an ebook for the Corona SDK. With some editing it is usable with high school students. Brian was kind enough to send me a Microsoft Word copy of his text so I can edit it for lower level users. My advanced kids will be doing more than just working through the book. Not only will they have to read the text and do the present exercises, they will have to flesh out explanations, write new exercises and test them, and fill the gaps in the writing that is needed for beginners. Dr. Burton’s book is not advanced but it is not written with a beginner in mind. When the kids are done I want the product to be the equivalent to “An Idiots Guide to Corona Programming”. I am never happy with my programming text books. Thanks to Brian I now have a chance to make something I like, or at least find out what a pain it would be to make something I like. This should keep me off the streets at night.