High School Programming Class

by Jean Tower

There are too many exciting alternatives to boring high school programming classes to be offering only classes like C++ or java where students code for the same old assignments. I say let’s get our HS students developing apps for the iOS or games. The tools are free and the apps could sell!

Check out this class in iTunes U.
Developing Apps for iOS (SD) by Paul Hegarty
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Description: Tools and APIs required to build applications for the iPhone platform using the iPhone SDK. User interface designs for mobile devices and unique user interactions using multitouch technologies. Object-oriented design using model-view-controller pattern, memory management, Objective-C programming language. iPhone APIs and tools including Xcode, Interface Builder and Instruments on Mac OS X. Other topics include: core animation, bonjour networking, mobile device power management and performance considerations. Prerequisites: C language and programming experience at the level of 106B or X. Recommended: UNIX, object-oriented programming, graphical toolkits Offered by Stanford’s School of Engineering, the course will last ten weeks and include both the lecture videos and PDF documents. A new lecture will be posted each Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to this course, and automatically receive new lectures as they become available. Released with a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license.

Or, get your programming tool from Microsoft’s DreamSpark

“DreamSpark is simple: It’s about giving students Microsoft professional tools at no charge.”

Professional editions of the developer toolkits are available free for students.

“Microsoft XNA Game Studio is a set of tools that allow students, hobbyists and independent developers to build games for both Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360. XNA Game Studio is based on the .NET Framework and includes custom managed code libraries, Xbox Live Support, and Games for Windows Live support to make multi-player game development easier.”

Which assignment sounds like it would get more students motivated?
Write (and possibly sell) a game for Xbox, or code a simple calculator.
I think I can guess….

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