08-28-2017 04:26 PM
The news that Apple has dipped it's toes, or in this case, it's entire foot, into app development curriculum came across my desk TWICE today. The curriculum incldes 180 hours of training and lesson plans for Swift.
Here are my thoughts, and where I need help:
1. The Swift compiler is open source, which means anyone on a non-Apple system can develop an app for Apple products. Well, I guess that's great for Apple because they're creating curriculumn that teaches students how to develop apps for their products. But what about Android? Does that matter? See point 2.
2. What about Android? Does this mean Google will soon develop free curriculum too?
3. Will this curriculum teach the mindset needed to be a programmer? Will it teach students to look at a problem and see how each step you take affects your program?
4. How does grading work in an open source environment? Do instructors have to check students code individually?
5. If instructors and students need help from a tech support -- where do they go? It's my understanding that with open source, support comes from the community, which means you might not get it right away. Is that right? Where would instructors go for support? Would they need it?
6. What does the developer community have to say about open source vs. closed source?
I hope to hear from some of you!
08-31-2017 12:26 PM
I think Swift may be useful. It is intended to replace C-based languages. There is documentation and a Swift community. Listed is the website - https://swift.org/
As to Android I think you need to teach both.
Depending on how the curriculum is developed it could help teach the mindset of a programmer. Note, I would not use this as a first programming language.
Grading, I have to check each students code now.
Tech support would be from the community.
08-31-2017 12:52 PM
@eshepard Can you share some of your experiences? I'm really eager to know:
What's wrong with C-based languages that we would want to replace them? I don't know enough about programming anguages in that kind of detail!
Why wouldn't you use Swift as a first programming language? What would you use? Java?
How do you check each students code now? Does that take a long time? or are you looking for specific things?
Have you ever used support from the community? Is it worse/the same as/better than a designated tech support specialist that you can call whenever?
Thank you!! I'm genuinely interested in learning more, so I appreciate your feedback!
08-31-2017 12:59 PM
Nothing is wrong with C-based languages. Sometimes they find another language that is now the 'new' one. Not always necessarily better though.
Depending on what needs to be coded either C++ or Java.
I run each students code. Then I look at all the code to make sure they used the correct loops, didn't hard code things that should be prompted for, etc. Yes, it takes a long time to grade the programs. I am using Visual Basic at the command line for the Introduction to Programming and Logic class. That works well as they need to declare variables and be very structured in their coding.
Haven't used support from the community.