Second semester starts today and as usual I am totally prepared. For Programming II (sophomores) we are going to do Small Basic for a while then something else. That is all I have. The “for a while” and “something else” are the hang ups. I have two issues that affect those. First is the students. Of the six kids in my class there is one that could leave me in the dust crying. He is very smart and really digs programming. Two others can do anything I throw at them but are fairly typical sophomores. The last three are capable but have motivation issues. The other issue is the teacher that also teaches Programming II. Programming is not his gig but he puts a lot of work into it. He is also offering and writing a new personal finance course this semester which is going to eat his time. Doing a language he does not know (Corona or Python) on top of that might be a killer. He knows Small Basic so that is not an issue. The only other language he is somewhat comfortable with is Visual Basic. Personally I think VB is as interesting as watching paint dry but a language is a language and I am sure we can make an interesting course with it. I had originally considered getting him started in Python but since I offer a yearlong dual credit course in Python to Juniors there is no real need at the sophomore level. Corona would be my favorite choice but I think it would blow away some of my students and would take a lot of work on the part of the other teacher. Corona can do some fun stuff and I like fun stuff.
So we will work out the “for a while” on the fly. When we exhaust what we feel it worthwhile in SB we will start on VB. Not exactly sure what we will do in VB but that just keeps us on our toes. I did find enough textbooks for VB.Net. I had forgotten we even had them. It is amazing what you can find if you look.
It is nice when the class is such that the goals are flexible. In the Junior Python the kids have to get to a certain level of proficiency and they have to retain certain amount of knowledge to make it worth the dual credit rating. Programming I and II we can just have fun with computers and programming.