Tuesday, September 3, 2013

TeenCoder C# Series - Windows and Game Programming Course for Teens - #MosaicReviews

Teen Coder Homeschool Programming LogoTeenCoder Windows Programming
  • Two Semesters of Computer Programming Course Work
  • Created For 9th-12th Grade Students
  • Use Microsoft Visual Studio to Run C# Code
  • Course Includes a Textbook, Solution Guide and Optional Videos
  • Not Web Based. - Students Work From Text and Discs 
  • Buy The Course and Videos Separately for $90 Each or as a Bundle ($155)
  • Homeschool Programming, Inc. Also Has a Facebook Fan Page
  • See The Other Courses Available Visiting the Homeschool Programming Website
Teen Coder (WindowsAndGames)
The Teen Coder Windows and Game Programming Bundle comes with a self-study Student Textbook for each course, solutions guides and files, and the optional CD-Rom Discs with instructional videos.

The student textbook breaks down the concepts in easy to understand language.  The authors include visual aids and descriptive language.

Teen Coder Textbook ExcerptEach chapter is dedicated to a specific concept which is broken down into three or four lessons.  These are followed by a chapter review and then an activity which brings the lessons to life.  You may see some sample pages if you visit the website.

The optional videos are not meant to replace the textbook, but they are a good source of reinforcement, especially if you have audio visual learners, like I do.

Teen Coder Video
The information is presented in a simple animated format and sometimes incorporate a video of a computer screen as someone is working out some code.  Here is a screen grab of a video we were watching.

Teen Coder Video Lesson

The course is designed to cover one chapter per week.  The bundle could count as a computer programming elective.  Windows Programming would be the first semester's work and the Game Programming would be cover a second semester.

It is an interesting course, and the activities are a fun way to demonstrate the concepts.  We aren't designing anything earth shattering, but it is so pleasing to see our commands turn into something like this simple calculator!  (and it even works!)

Teen Coder Calculator
The first semester closes when the student design a functioning Chess game.  He will then move on the Game programming which will allow him to createWindows games. The XNA Framework will also allow the student to create games for the XBox 360, too.  (Yes, my boys both want to try this!)

If you are feeling a little bit anxious when you think about trying to teach the class to your student, have no fear - It is not as difficult as you might think!  If you take a few minutes to watch this video: Teen Coder Demonstration Video it does a very good job of showing how easy it is to do the work using Visual Studio.

There are a few Pre-Requisites.  Students should have a basic understanding of how to use the keyboard and mouse, how to to select and run programs from the start menu and how to navigate files on the hard drive, make menu choices, and generally interact with their operating system.

The computer that a student uses should meet these minimum standards: 
ACPU of at least 1.6Ghz
At least 1024MB of RAM
A display monitor with 1024 x 768 or higher resolution
A hard drive with 3GB or more free space
A DVD-ROM Drive
The Operating System on the computer should be :
Windows XP + SP3 or above (except Starter Edition), Windows Vista + SP2 or above (except Starter Edition), Windows 7 (all versions), Windows 8 (except RT) or a Mac OS version 10.5.8 and above (on Intel-based CPUs).
Homeschool Programming, Inc. also offers a KidCoder Visual Basic Series (read my review!) a KidCoder Web Series for web design, and a TeenCoder Java and Android Series.

The student textbooks are non-consumable, and may be shared or copied for use with more than one student within the same family.  Co-ops or classrooms must have a student text for each child.

MR Disclosure
I was given this opportunity for a review because I am a member of theHomeschool Mosaics Review Team.

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