Sunday, June 6, 2010

Python for Girls!

Hi all! I'm working on a new python tutorial for beginners, specifically aimed at girls. There aren't many of those out there yet, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to help start building the library! Here's a link to my documentation so far: It's definitely a work in progress, but feel free to peruse the tutorial. If you notice any errors, feel free to comment!

What I think sets this tutorial apart from the rest is the writing style and approach to teaching. I'm writing the tutorial in a very comfortable and relaxed voice. I write what I would say if I was explaining python to someone in person, interjections and all. Hopefully this will make the tutorial more interesting and easier to read.

My approach to teaching is also different in that I provide concrete examples before explaining the programming concept. From what I've read (sorry, can't find the post anymore..), girls learn programming better when they first understand the problem at hand, then are taught how to solve the problem. I use this format frequently in my tutorial. For example, I first ask how lists are used in real life and provide some examples before even explaining what a python list is. This will hopefully help the girls realize that programming is about solving real life problems, such as creating the list of TV shows to display in the TiVo menu or creating an application to track your grocery list, and then teach them how to do so.

I'm hoping this approach will work well! I get a chance to test my material at the Summer Enrichment Program! If I have time, I will try to document my experience (what worked, what didn't) so that future tutorials can continue to improve!

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