Yesterday Paul Craven, computer science professor and creator of the Arcade library for Python 2d games, gave a webinar about teaching Python to university students using game writing. The recording is now available:
During the webinar, Paul discussed his techniques for teaching introductory programming, an approach which he has refined over the years based on seeing what works and what doesn’t work. He covered:
- The iterative process of producing teaching materials
- Having a good toolchain (PyCharm for writing Sphinx docs, GitHub, ReadTheDocs, etc.)
- How PyCharm’s IDE features impacted the quality of what students did (PEP 8, function completion, spell checking, etc.)
- The effect Python 3.5/3.6 type hinting had on the learning/teaching experience
- How games as a topic made learning fun, and how he adjusted the game library to make it more teachable
- Teaching self-sufficiency by learning to browse APIs
- The importance of already-working game examples
Paul then covered a bit of Arcade and the kinds of games it makes easy to write.
The webinar lasted a bit over an hour and had one of our highest number of questions posed during the session. We’ll try to get Paul back again in the future and go more in depth on game writing.
If you have any questions or comments about the webinar, feel free to leave them in the comments below, or you can reach us on Twitter. Paul Craven is on Twitter as well, his Twitter handle is @professorcraven.
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