Coding skills, even basic ones, are essential in this day and age. Alas, schools around here have not really caught on to this and IT lessons are not even mandatory in many schools around here. As far as I have been able to find out, the IT curriculum of the type of school where I will be teaching, consists entirely of getting pupils to use the MS Office suite correctly. This of course does not include any coding skills, only the formulas and macros in Excel, and I am not even sure if macros are part of the curriculum.
So, I have decided to offer extra lessons in coding, if time and facilities at the school I will be teaching at, allows.
Specifically, I will offer Python, because it is an easy language to learn, can be used for scripting and OOP and because you can have something interactive with just a few lines of code (it is theree in this example, but two would suffice to see results):
print "This is a test program for console input."
the_input = raw_input("Please give some input here: ")
And seeing results quickly is essential for catching the puils‘ attention.
I have enough material and knowledge to go into at least some depth of Python and let the pupils tackle a number of smaller projects which can be extended and built upon. I am thinking of things like a calculator, a Battleship type game and similar things, nothing too involved since time will most likely not allow for more. It is also likely that some pupils who are interested in learning to code will leave the course again once I tell them that they will not be learning any hacking skills at all.
I guess I should also warn them not to attempt any hacking and/or go to websites where software for dubious purposes is peddled unless they can run a dual-boot or pure Linux computer with Kali Linux running on a virtual machine within the actual Linux OS (and not even think of hacking if they have no clue what I am talking about).
So, let’s see how this develops and wether or not I will have the opportunity to teach Python, I hope I will.