Learning About Computers

Technology is a resource.  It has its place and time.  However, using technological devices does and will require a certain amount of education.  This can be independently sought or scheduled as part of your home education plan.

I have compiled a considerable number of resources.

I have read reviews, spoken with users, and often used many of these items, including books and software.

Microsoft DreamSpark – Free Downloads of popular products at no cost

Perl programs in Latin

Computer Programming for Homeschool Students and Other Beginners

MotherboardBooks.com

Books on Computer History

I discovered this, Homeschool Programming, Inc., sometime last year.  I do think that it is spectacular.

As well,Teacher Resources, I am referring you to a search that lists a wide range of materials and projects specifically for working with Microsoft Office.  While it is great that you want to let your child learn programming, it would be a shame if they cannot type or effectively use the most popular set of business tools!

Any good instruction starts with the history and evolution of computers.

 

Scratch is a programming language.  It is for teaching a beginner programmer.  You can create games, stories, graphics, et cetera.  If you have an interest driven student that wishes to dabble or perhaps you have a computer hobbyist, this is actually a fun place to start.

 Python is another great development language.  This is certainly a more reasonable approach for a younger student, as early as ten years old.  The reading level is reduced to somewhere around the fifth grade.  There is a web site that supports this book and has many downloads to extend the learning experience.  You will find a lot of information online concerning learning and using Python.

 

There are a number of popular beginner programming languages that are visual.  The child or student can develop something that is immediately viewable.I am very fond of Alice.

The Virtual World Design and Creation for Teens teaches programming without truly learning actual code.  This is a great first stop with immediate viewable results.  The programming logic is what is taught through this resource.  This makes the transition to actual language learning much, much easier.  The appeal is the development of games, movies, stories, et cetera.  I believe that this book could be used easily with a 7th grade student.  A child that has been learning logic and a foreign language may be able to use this much earlier, as soon as the 5th grade.

There are some more advanced resources that I have seen and reviewed.  A high-school level student would probably prefer moving to An Introduction to Programming Using Alice or Learning to Program with Alice as their starting point.

You will find support online for Alice too.

While this book is a more advanced resource, it would be used well in an advanced class, or with a student that has used several of the other beginner resources. The programming examples within this book use C++.

 

Any of the Teach Yourself Visually …  books are great resources. You could use them as a spine for a class or to satisfy an interest. I have been able to read through several by way of the library. I found the programming books to be great starting points for any beginner.  Once you have tackled HTML, I would purchase a book in this same series for CSS.  With those two web languages, you can write/create a very striking web page.

Once you have tackled the basics of HTML and CSS, you might consider programming for Windows.  Visual Basic is the place to start. Any of the Sams Teach Yourself … books rank high on my list of great resources.  This is a very complex object-oriented language.  I do suggest that previous experience with Alice, Python, or Scratch and a high school reading level be prerequisites for starting.

From here you can move to databases, MySQL and SQL or another language, such as Java, Flash, C #, C++, PHP, Perl, et cetera.  You could extend your web language knowledge base by learning DHTML, XML, ASP, et cetera.  There are so many languages, and logically, they all function in a very similar manner.  So, once you have the basics, you should have a very pleasant experience.

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