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Keynote: Designed for education: a Python solution

Description

The problem of introducing children to programming and computer science has seen growing attention in the past few years. Initiatives like Raspberry Pi, Code Club, code.org, (and many more) have been created to help solve this problem. With the introduction of a national computing curriculum in the UK, teachers have been searching for a text based programming language to help teach computational thinking as a follow on from visual languages like Scratch.

The educational community has been served well by Python, benefiting from its straight-forward syntax, large selection of libraries, and supportive community. Education-focused summits are now a major part of most major Python Conferences. Assistance in terms of documentation and training is invaluable, but perhaps there are technical means of improving the experience of those using Python in education. Clearly the needs of teachers and their students are different to those of the seasoned programmer. Children are unlikely to come to their teachers with frustrations about the Global Interpreter Lock! But issues such as usability of IDEs or comprehensibility of error messages are of utmost importance.

In this keynote, Carrie Anne will discuss existing barriers to Python becoming the premier language of choice for teaching computer science, and how learning Python could be helped immensely through tooling and further support from the Python developer community.

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