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 I need Advice (alernatives to READY!!!!)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:06 am   Post subject: I need Advice (alernatives to READY!!!!)

Ok, I am Peer-Tutoring a Computer Class Next Semester, and it is grade 10 with Ready, my Teacher uses HoltSoft programs for everything, I didn't mind turing as much but he has phased that out, and now he is using ready. I already had to learn Java uses Ready and it was a disaster, yes I gained some knowledge but as soon as you try using any other Java everything went wrong.

Now for the Problem, I need someone to put together a package with everything you need to use Java(Editor, Library, Examples, anything I might need).

I would do this except I am now in my 5th year with contains mega courses and no fun as well as no time for anything.

Please could someone do this for me! so I can save a class for disaster, and maybe get them more interested.

I still don't know if this will work because my teacher uses those "easy to learn java books" (Ya right!). In this package if there are any teachers out there I wouls like to ask for lessons plans or places to get FREE lesson plans.

I can't say how much I need your help, you all know how much Ready Sucks!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:41 am   Post subject: (No subject)

Any text editor will work as an editor, and a great many can syntax highlight Java source code. The standard Sun Java 5.0 SDK gives you all the tools you need for free. Check here and search Google for examples.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:45 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

Turing < Ready < Normal editors/compilers

Although, frankly, since the people you're going to be peer-tutoring (at least from my experience in peer tutoring), aren't the brightest, maybe you should just stick with what their teacher uses?

It's not like they're going to be heavily distributing these programs or anything - at a juncture at which Ready begins imposing limitations on them, then inform them of the wide world of standards compliance. Wink

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:10 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

Yes, teach them things they'll have to unlearn later. Fun.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:44 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

wtd wrote:
Yes, teach them things they'll have to unlearn later. Fun.
For most basic classroom uses, Ready is okay. Remember, just because you're using RTP does NOT mean you'll neccesarily have to use the HSA Console classes or any of that crap. I would definitely stay away from using that, but there's nothing wrong with using Ready at first -- it is nothing more than a syntax-highlighting text editor with compile+run bound to its F1 key. Yes, it does use a different compiler, but by the time students get to the point where that makes any difference, it will be trivial to switch them over to Sun JDK.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:11 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

So if it's just a text editor with syntax-highlighting and compile-and-run shortcuts, and students are best off avoiding the HSA classes...

... why not start out with standard tools?

Certainly the Sun Java 5.0 SDK and a decent text editor can give you everything you get with RTP, without any of the issues specific to RTP.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:19 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

I have to agree with Hikaru on this one. I would highlight what Hikaru said about the HSA Console class:
Hikaru79 wrote:

Remember, just because you're using RTP does NOT mean you'll neccesarily have to use the HSA Console classes or any of that crap.

If for some reason you refuse to use RTP, perhaps you could use NetBeans. Though RTP is much more lightweight; for beginners, a lightweight IDE is much better.

On the other hand, you could use SciTE. Very lightweight, applicable to many languages, syntax highlighting, line numbers, expanding/collapsing structures, syntax checking, output window, and one-button-executution. It's got some other features that I haven't yet played with too. It's suitable for debugging, as well. I recommend it! Smile

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:33 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

Ok... but... if all an "IDE" provides is syntax highlighting, and a shortcut to execute the compiler, what benefit does it provide?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:43 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

That is what any good editor can do.

Still, if you already have it, why not use it? Just make sure to be careful with what you do with it.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:45 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

Why not use it?

Precisely because you have to be "careful", and because the alternative is absolutely free.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:22 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

You know wtd, kids who are needing peer tutoring aren't likely the kind of people who will have anything to unlearn "later". Frankly, most of these kids will likely not go far past the course they're currently in - most people who plan to go further won't need any peer tutoring.

As nice as sitting on your philosophical high horse is, once in a while you've got to stop preaching and realize some realities:

  • The teacher likely makes Ready and the associated tools and whatever else he uses an integral part of the course
  • The kids who are getting this tutoring won't likely be the type to spend a bunch of time gettin used to new tools, when (from their limited perspective), RTP (the compiler their teacher uses and recommends, maybe even requires) is good enough.

Stop looking at it from your perspective and look at it from theirs: You're a high school student, struggling in a relatively basic computers course. You thought it'd be fun, you're probably not that good at computers. Your teacher has likely had to walk you through the smallest steps involved in every bit of the course. Do you think you're going to be willing to make, or even be able to understand, the jump to a different compiler?

Yes, this is maybe a bit extreme, but frankly, I doubt that the kids who'll be in the peer tutoring program are the ones who are technologically (and with computers more specifically) adept.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:30 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

"high horse"?

Everytime we shrug and say it doesn't matter, we just endorse the idea of using nonstandard tools. It makes it that much easier for teachers to continue pushing that kind of garbage.

When I help students, I prefer to think that what I'm teaching them will make a difference. How jaded and cynical is it to say, "These kids aren't likely to ever continue much farther past the course they're in"?

True as it may be, that's setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy. You expect people to fail, and then they do. If you believe it doesn't make any difference in the long run, why bother? If you're not going to get kids interested enough to continue, what was the point of the course in the first place?

These attitudes have to change, and that change begins right now, or it never will.

Stargate came in here looking for an alternative, and that he wasn't happy with RTP, and you're basically telling him to give up on trying to improve things and just use RTP anyway.

But hey, if this kind of defeatism is the new religion here, I'll just move on.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:12 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

i don't understand... if the teachers want to use a simple IDE like RTP to teach java.. why don't they just switch to BlueJ... it's free... and it also has UML diagram support... which helps in teaching the student proper OOD.

not only that... BlueJ does not supply any thrid-party API... everything is done using the standard java API..

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:21 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

I thought about mentioning BlueJ. As far as IDE options go, for Java BlueJ seems the best suited to introductory instruction.

I suppose one of my very simple goals is that I would want to see students finish the course, and know how to write Java programs, then compile and run them, without any IDE. The basic SDK tools are the least common denominator, and everyone should know how to use them, especially since there are lots of environments where you may not have pretty (and sometimes ugly) GUIs.

Of course, to really understand how to use those tools, you need practice. Smile

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:23 am   Post subject: (No subject)

Just to clear things up, many high school teachers who teach RTP Java do not know much more than what is in that textbook and some Turing. They don't want to use else since so much of the course is based on RTP, they're textbooks are based on it, often everything. Sometimes though, you get a good teacher who uses the standard SDK, a lightweight text editor, and some other textbook.
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