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Looking for intro to computer programming HS course


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#1 brownie

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 11:32 AM

Does anybody know of a self-paced computer programming course for my 15 year old? I know I'm being picky, but I would prefer self-paced and Java, though I would tolerate Python if it met my other criteria. AOPS has one but it's Python and not self-paced, and moderately expensive. CTY has one but the cost is exorbitant. Khan has some really interesting stuff but it doesn't look like you do any actual programming. Has anyone used it? Aleks doesn't appear to have anything at all.

 

I am happy to pay for it so there is a sense of obligation and motivation to complete the course, but $200 seems reasonable to me for self-paced, not $800!! I just really want a traditional one semester intro to programming course, that a kid like my son with some limited background knowledge (Scratch and FLL) and a Davidson scholar, could complete with maybe 30 hours effort if left to do it at his pace. I'm having trouble locating one. Maybe one of the online homeschool companies has one?

 

Brownie



#2 igbu

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 09:02 PM

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#3 Sneezyone

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 10:00 PM

http://forums.welltr...ce#entry7287102



#4 Tsuga

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 12:25 AM

Does anybody know of a self-paced computer programming course for my 15 year old? I know I'm being picky, but I would prefer self-paced and Java, though I would tolerate Python if it met my other criteria. AOPS has one but it's Python and not self-paced, and moderately expensive. CTY has one but the cost is exorbitant. Khan has some really interesting stuff but it doesn't look like you do any actual programming. Has anyone used it? Aleks doesn't appear to have anything at all.

 

I am happy to pay for it so there is a sense of obligation and motivation to complete the course, but $200 seems reasonable to me for self-paced, not $800!! I just really want a traditional one semester intro to programming course, that a kid like my son with some limited background knowledge (Scratch and FLL) and a Davidson scholar, could complete with maybe 30 hours effort if left to do it at his pace. I'm having trouble locating one. Maybe one of the online homeschool companies has one?

 

Brownie

 

30 hours is not realistic to develop any serious skill in programming and by "serious skill" I mean, anything that would be worthy of the time and effort of an accelerated high schooler. If you are going for Java, C# or C++, I don't think it would be worthwhile to pay for a 30 hour course. That would be like, three chapters if you're serious about programming and not looking to learn mere parlor tricks. (Note: I'm not a programmer, I only program for stats and analysis, so if even I think it's a lowball... it's pretty lowball.)

 

One CC course would be minimum 10 weeks, and that would be considered the absolute minimum you'd need to wrap your head around what it means to code. If your son is an accelerated learner and 15, and has an interest in computer science or advanced analytics, I would suggest forking over the money for a CC course or a real online course such as the AOPS Python course.

 

Frankly, as someone who works in information science and data management, and who also works with people who are pretty junior, when they ask what to learn, our #1 recommendation is Python.

 

That said, perhaps your son is ready for the AP Computer Science course? THere are several offerings online:

 

https://ohs.stanford...omputer-science

 

This might work, at $150 with no feedback: https://www.edsurge....-reviews/codehs

 

I think you might be hitting a wall in terms of what an accelerated learner can do for free (without great public schools). Where I live, accelerated 15-year-olds are almost all working at college level, and that is paid for by the state at CC. I honestly wonder if that might be where your son is ready for next, because computer science is highly marketable and so it's not cheap.

 

Codeacademy is free and provides the basic mechanics for fooling around with many different languages. My daughter used it, but she's much younger and not accelerated per se. It's definitely more advanced than scratch, though.



#5 calbear

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 03:25 AM

dp


Edited by calbear, 02 February 2018 - 03:32 AM.


#6 calbear

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 03:25 AM

Try looking at Edhesive courses.

https://edhesive.com/courses

 

Their Java one is an AP course though. The intro class is python. I'm pretty sure the Intro class is $125.

 


Edited by calbear, 02 February 2018 - 03:26 AM.

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#7 4kookiekids

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 06:45 AM

I managed to get credit in college for completing those Sams "Teach yourself ___ in 21 days" books. It says 21 days, but the last 14 "days" are pretty big lessons (have you seen the size of those books??), so it's not as fluffy as it might seem. I did both C and C++, and emailed all my programs and code to a professor in the CS department, who then signed off on something saying I'd taken the equivalent of a semester long course. I think if you wanted something deeper, you could start with the Teach yourself Java in 21 days book and then follow it up with a java textbook (poke around and just see what they're actually using in full courses) or just go straight to a high quality java textbook. I doesn't have the motivational level of what you'd get from a course with others, but it's highly self-paced and you can spend your $200 getting a really high quality textbook or two instead of paying for a teacher. I felt like programming was easy to teach myself since I was motivated (I really, really wanted to apply for a job that required programming experience - and I got the job! :D). I found that the most motivational part of programming was actually just getting the program to do what I wanted, which is why starting off easy with a "Teach yourself" sort of book was good for me. 



#8 4kookiekids

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 06:47 AM

Try looking at Edhesive courses.

https://edhesive.com/courses

 

Their Java one is an AP course though. The intro class is python. I'm pretty sure the Intro class is $125.

 

Those look like fun! I'll have to bookmark these for down the road... :)



#9 brownie

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 07:02 AM

Thank you. For reasons having to do with this particular child and our circumstances, I am looking for the traditional intro to comp sci course to prep for AP comp sci in the fall. I say 30 hours bc while a semester hs course is traditionally 45 classroom hours, if self-paced I am guessing he can accomplish it in 30. I am becoming more open to Python; AP com sci is in Java and his older and younger brothers both know java and could help more easily if he had a question:) 

 

In addition to the recs above, for those who are interested, I've also received recs for homeschool connections (Catholic, $60 pre-recorded class, mixed reviews) and Alison which I guess is free and actually grades your work?! I've been looking for something on my own for a month and now I have a bunch of options to consider, so this is very helpful.

 

Brownie

    

ETA: I looked at Alison and it appears to be run by Khan, but the courses look really short. Their most comprehensive one is only 10-15 hours. My objection to AOPS is primarily being tied to their late evening schedule over the summer here on the east coast but I am watching to see what they will offer. But It might be worth it, as my younger son may do their AMC course simultaneously.


Edited by brownie, 02 February 2018 - 07:27 AM.

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#10 gstharr

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 08:09 AM

While following up on the tips provided here, I found this course from Udemy: Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from zero to hero in Python.  The price is right $14.99 .  Highly rated.


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#11 shawthorne44

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 08:46 AM

codeacademy.com is free and is taught by a 'wizard' that talks you through the examples.  

 

I bought the GreatCourses Intro to programming (using Python) on sale for $50 just recently



#12 Tsuga

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 06:31 PM

 hs course is traditionally 45 classroom hours, 

 

That doesn't seem right... aren't high school courses usually 90 hours per semester, for a 180 day minimum school year? And you can have more than that. In our schools, last semester they had 90 days, so if you were taking AP Comp Sci, or anyway here is a typical course offering for a college bound student interested in computer science:

 
CISCO Networking
Advanced CISCO CCNP
Advanced CISCO Cybersecurity
Computer Technology
Coding in Python 1 & 2
Introduction to Mobile Application Development
Video Game and Simulation Design
Web Publish
AP Computer Science
Special Topics in Computer Science

 

 

Those would each be 180 days, so Coding in Python would be 90 semester 1, probably 90 semester 2.

 

And I mean i get it,, you'll homeschool so the kid is going to get through more quickly, but then you'd assume that they'd do all the work in class, no homework, so still 180 hours for AP, 90 hours for your basic class whereas your typical IB student / AP student would be doing an hour of work a night or more, plus an hour of lecture in class.



#13 brownie

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 10:00 PM

You are right. My mistake. I should have said the traditional course is 90 hours. I'm familiar with the traditional intro class content and that is what I am looking to replicate.  I took it 30 years ago and my oldest son took it 2 years ago, both at our local high school. There is some solid, important foundational information (variable types, loops, if-then) in that class I want my 15 year old to get outside a drag and drop program for kids to boost his confidence for AP, but I believe it is 30 hours of actual effort for my kid done self-paced. My oldest spent half his class time helping the other students or working on personal programming projects, and the rest of the time frustrated with the slow pace. He just needs someone to run him through it in a logical manner and show him how it's done and then he'll be good to go. I need the reassurance it will actually get done...thus the need for a paying class, but not one that will break the bank.

 

Brownie


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#14 daijobu

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 10:55 PM

Edhesive's AP computer science A is Java, and it's mostly self-paced, though you'll want to finish by May.  My students had had extensive python experience before starting the Java class so it was pretty easy for them.  


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#15 calbear

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 01:27 AM

CompusScholar (used to sell as KidCoder and TeenCoder under Homeschool Programming a few years back) has classes. They've been around for a really long time. 

 

http://www.compuscho...com/homeschool/

 


Edited by calbear, 04 February 2018 - 01:28 AM.


#16 tranquility7

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:34 PM

You can check out my Udemy rx and comments in this thread: http://forums.welltr...sses/?p=7983227

The particular courses I recommend are not Java, but here is a Java one taught by one of the same instructors I recommend:

Complete Java Masterclass

 

This course is taught by Tim Buchalka. He is an excellent professional intructor, and it shows. He covers topics quite thoroughly and clearly. Right now I think the course is discounted to $24 - which is still DIRT CHEAP for what you are getting! - but sometimes they get as low as $10. Do not ever buy them at full price :-)

 

FWIW, I still recommend the Web Dev Bootcamp by Colt Steele more highly for any beginner programmer in junior high or high school, because I think he teaches a lot more diverse skill set and helps the student create some small projects start-to-finish, which is not only motivating, inspiring, and fun for the student, but also very practically helpful and gets the student to the point that he can actually create something and put it out there for the world to use. But - if you really want Java - I'd go with Tim's course at this point.


Edited by tranquility7, 04 February 2018 - 12:37 PM.


#17 Tsuga

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 02:10 PM

You are right. My mistake. I should have said the traditional course is 90 hours. I'm familiar with the traditional intro class content and that is what I am looking to replicate.  I took it 30 years ago and my oldest son took it 2 years ago, both at our local high school. There is some solid, important foundational information (variable types, loops, if-then) in that class I want my 15 year old to get outside a drag and drop program for kids to boost his confidence for AP, but I believe it is 30 hours of actual effort for my kid done self-paced. My oldest spent half his class time helping the other students or working on personal programming projects, and the rest of the time frustrated with the slow pace. He just needs someone to run him through it in a logical manner and show him how it's done and then he'll be good to go. I need the reassurance it will actually get done...thus the need for a paying class, but not one that will break the bank.

 

Brownie

 

Who needs for-loops when you have apply? Object oriented programming is the shizz.

 

If your son just needs to run through it, seriously, codeacademy.com. That really sounds like what you want. Mini-projects, self-paced, free.

 

Is it just because you want it on the transcript? "Project-based Java I" and include the skills covered in codeacademy. 

 

The web dev course looks good. Nobody's going to promise under 30 hours. You are saying that your kid can do in 30 what others can do in 90, so look for 90 and do it in 30. If you're looking for a 30 hour course then wouldn't you be expecting him to finish it in 10? That doesn't sound challenging for an advanced student.



#18 MarkT

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 05:44 AM

Does anybody know of a self-paced computer programming course for my 15 year old? I know I'm being picky, but I would prefer self-paced and Java, though I would tolerate 1) Python if it met my other criteria. AOPS has one but it's Python and not self-paced, and moderately expensive. CTY has one but the cost is exorbitant. Khan has some really interesting stuff but it doesn't look like you do any actual programming. Has anyone used it? 2) Aleks doesn't appear to have anything at all.

 

3) I am happy to pay for it so there is a sense of obligation and motivation to complete the course, but $200 seems reasonable to me for self-paced, not $800!! I just really want a traditional one semester intro to programming course, that a kid like my son with some limited background knowledge (Scratch and FLL) and a Davidson scholar, could complete with maybe 30 hours effort if left to do it at his pace. I'm having trouble locating one. Maybe one of the online homeschool companies has one?

 

1) I would recommend Python - if your student likes programming they can learn Java later on in an AP course.  Learn some "computer science" along with programming. 

2) IMHO ALEKS doesn't match well with programming/software development so no surprise here.

3) Lots of free and inexpensive options out there most programming MOOCs are self-paced.

see this thread for a nice discussion:

http://forums.welltr...ree-apparently/



#19 brownie

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 09:07 AM

Lots of options in this thread. This is grea. Thank you. I have many options to consider.



#20 MarkT

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:02 AM

https://www.techrepu...-to-learn-next/

https://www.techrepu...-learn-in-2018/