I’ve been using meetup.com to publicize and enroll students into my classes since early 2014, but it’s not an ideal system for my needs. So, being a programmer, and having had considerable experience with student information systems as a volunteer with the Lafayette School District and as a contractor with School Loop, I have written my own, Dave B’s Student Information System.
This week I taught a class called Moderately Advanced Projects (Mostly Python), for four of my students, who are going into grades 7–10. This group doesn’t appear on my Meetup.com calendar because it was privately formed by the parents and me.
One of my new example programs for teaching how to make a web application in Python allows the user to select a school from a list, and then shows a Google Map of the area around the school. It’s for my more advanced students, but other students, especially those who know some HTML and CSS, might want to look it over and see if they find it interesting. Perhaps this will motivate new programmers to learn Python, and experienced Python programmers to learn how to make Web apps.
This week I taught a class called Moderately Advanced Python Projects, for five of my best students, who are going into grades 8–10. I’m considering offering a class, Simple to Intermediate Python Projects, for my younger and/or less experienced students.
Notable Past Events
Private Lessons and Classes
I teach students in grades 3 through 12, usually in my home in Lafayette, California, just off of Pleasant Hill Road, near Highway 24 and Acalanes High School.
We do a variety of projects, including:
- games, stories and simulations (video of a dice throw simulation)
- text adventure games, such as this one written in Scala
- animation and art with Processing (video)
- plotting data
- web applications, such as an adventure game or joke or quote server
- web clients, such as fetching current weather from the Internet
- learning about how networking programming works, and Internet protocols such as IP, TCP, and HTTP
- microcontroller (Arduino) projects (a pumpkin-hacking project)
I show some of these projects in a blog post: One of My Best Classes Ever.
Quality of Instruction
I train my students to write high-quality code, as I write professionally for my clients. I teach them about software engineering principles like DRY. I model ethical behavior, for example showing students where to find music, art and sound effects that are public domain or Creative Commons–licensed for our uses.
Private Individual or Group Lessons
These lessons, for one to six students, cost $75 per hour, regardless of the number of students. The group can divide the cost however they like. Generally parents create these with their children and possibly some friends with similar experience and abilities. If you are interested, please email me.
Parents are welcome to quietly observe lessons, if space permits.
Getting Ready for Class
I am a highly skilled and experienced professional programmer who enjoys teaching kids to program. I am or have been involved with many programs including:
- Hack the Future (blog post) (pictures)
- Lafayette Library and Learning Center MakerFest
- Silicon Valley Code Camp
- Lafayette School District
- TriValley CoderDojo
- Diablo Valley College College for Kids (blog post about the experience)
- Oakland Feather River summer computer camp
- OSCON Kids Day
- After-school enrichment program at Moraga elementary schools
My YouTube channel contains many lessons for programmers, and interviews with interesting people.
Here is a recording of a live presentation I gave last year, introducing programming to parents. Since it’s unedited, you might just skip through it and find parts that interest you.