[ANN] Fun programming with your kids

stéphane ducasse ducasse at iam.unibe.ch
Sat May 28 08:06:19 UTC 2005


By the way I did not control what they wrote on me :) and in the book  
I managed to avoid "stef is central to squeak" which makes me laugh a  
lot. Because I would like to do much more but time....

> Excellent news, Stef!  I've preordered a copy and am recommending  
> it to our
> school and local libraries.
> For those whose email programs "broke" the original link,
> http://tinyurl.com/ey63x will do the job.
> Gary
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "stéphane ducasse" <ducasse at iam.unibe.ch>
> To: "The general-purpose Squeak developers list"
> <squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org>
> Sent: Friday, May 27, 2005 4:14 PM
> Subject: [ANN] Fun programming with your kids
> Hi
> If you are a parent, an educator or a programmer having kids this is
> for you! After 4 years of work, my new book "Squeak: Learn
> programming with Robots" will be out soon
> http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1590594916/
> qid=1117218524/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-5642974-5143261?v=glance&s=books
> http://smallwiki.unibe.ch/botsinc/
> With Bots Inc you will learn how to program robots in an interactive
> environment. Bots Inc proposes three teaching approaches: direct
> command of robots, scripting robots and programming robots. The book
> contains 24 chapters going step by step over topics with a lot of
> examples. Bots Inc is fun but it is not a toy, it teaches you 100%
> real programming in Smalltalk: a pure object-oriented programming
> language that has been copied by Java. Bots Inc is built on top of
> the rich open-source multimedia Squeak environment that you can also
> discover.
> My goal is to explain key elementary programming concepts (such as
> loops, abstraction, composition, and conditionals) to novices of all
> ages. I believe that learning by experimenting and solving problems
> with fun is central to human knowledge acquisition. Therefore, I have
> presented programming concepts through simple but not trivial
> problems such as drawing golden rectangles or simulating animal
> behavior. The ideal reader I have in mind is an individual who wants
> to have fun programming. This person may be a teenager or an adult, a
> schoolteacher, or somebody teaching programming to children in some
> other organization. Such an individual does not have to be fluent in
> programming in any language. As a father of two young boys I also
> wrote this book for all the parents that want to have fun programming
> with their kids in a powerful interactive environment. Programming in
> Smalltalk is an interactive, fun but deep experience.
> Testimonies
> "I am using the version of the book on your web site to teach my
> oldest daughter Becca some programming. She absolutely loves it. We
> are doing the Bot graphics right. My other kids are showing interest
> as well. My Fall semester schedule leaves me with almost no time free
> but in the Spring I hope to bring Squeak and your book to our
> elementary school's "gifted" program." C. David Shaffer
> "I'm using the Bot Lab environment for three years and found it
> really valuable in teaching computer science concepts for a young
> audience (and even less young !). The bots commanded through balloon
> (as in comic strips) is a very nice introduction for young children,
> and when this aspect is well understood, you can use the Bot
> Workspace to teach the notion of script, a first step in programming
> languages. The Micro Browser allows children to add new behavior for
> their bots, and have fun with their creation. This three-layers tool
> - Balloon, Micro Workspace, Micro Browser - offers to the teacher a
> fun way to introduce gently the basis of object-oriented programming
> concepts. With Bots Inc, learning is playing ! ;-)" Samir Saidani -
> University of Caen - France
> "I recently started a course with 7th-graders (age about 13 years)
> with Stephane's book --- they love it. They all know about syntactic
> issues from maths --- in a way they know that an expression in a
> formal language must be well formed. So they easily grasp the fact
> such as "there must be a colon after the message-name if an argument
> follows". Of cause they don't really read the error-messages, they
> just see "there must be some error" and they remember the simple
> rules. Don't underestimate Smalltalk --- it's easy understandable
> because it has a simple and straight-forward design." Klaus Fuller -
> Germany
> Have fun...please distribute
> Stef
> http://www.iam.unibe.ch/~ducasse/
>   "if you knew today was your last day on earth, what would you
>   do different? ...  especially if,  by doing something different,
>   today might not be your last day on earth" Calvin&Hobbes
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