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High School Computer

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Our computer credit focuses on several core areas:

1. Application software. Acquire proficiency for normal (i.e. not professional level) use of Word, Powerpoint, Excel, LaTex and a graphing program for scientific graphing/fitting. My students learn this by using the programs for applications in all other subjects: writing assignments, science labs, history presentations.

2. Web. Safe internet use, evaluating credibility of information, basic web design. DD designed website for a local business and is webmaster for a regional equestrian organization. Essentially self-taught with free online handbooks.

3. Hardware. Components of a computer. Assembling computer from parts. My kids did that, both for home built computers, and working on the construction of a computer cluster at DH's work.

4. Programming. DS is currently taking the Udacity Intro to Comp Sci class and learns to program Python. DD will have to learn programming in her senior year. We will make it project based instruction, because you can not really learn programming until you have an actual project to program.


Not sure how to understand your question about "gaming". I don't have to teach gaming, they figured that out just fine ;-)

I will not teach game design. If DS learns to program and is interested in programming games, he can teach himself. DD has no interest.

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My kids know how to use computers, so we don't do any type of applications classes, but I think those can be very useful if your kids aren't comfortable with office. Neither of my kids are interested in Web programming.


Ds who is interested in programming, especially game programming, has done an Alice class (7th grade) and Lego Mindstorms (8th grade) both taught by/overseen by dh who is a programmer. He didn't do anything formal in programming last year, but this year has done 2 Coursera courses: Intro to Computer Science and an Intro to Programming (not sure the exact name) that teaches basics with Python.


We were going to use the MIT opencouseware Intro to Programming/Python class, but it was a bit too dense for ds. Long slow lectures, complex homework, ds just wasn't ready for that. However, if you have a child that is really self motivated and interested, it looks like a great course.

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My 14 year old is currently working his way through the intro course on Udacity.com. I also signed him up for the AOPS class Intro to Programming. I addition he is building his own computer through a class at the local teen center. His proficiency in MS Office/Open Office simply came through the use of the programs and playing with them. Due to his dysgraphia he is using LaTex for just about everything these days and again primarily learns by simply using it. He likes it particularly for his math and science assignments.

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Ds started by learning Visual Basic with his dad, computer oracle database architect for big company, as his tutor. He then progressed to "Java for Dummies" and is now working through a Java AP text with his dad tutoring him. He'll begin studying for Java certification after that.


Does your local C.C. offer any programming courses? This might be a great place to begin.


I agree that if a student doesn't already have a pretty good background, the MIT course is dense.



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