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The Logic of Computer Programming | Fall

Eligible Students:
Grades 9-12th **(open to 8th only under required pre-requisites) **Designed for high school students, to gain understanding of the logic behind computers and computer programming to develop their own programs and more easily learn any programming language. Discussions will also involve issues surrounding the Christian’s use of computer technology from a Biblical, Classical perspective. It is recommended that the student has completed Formal Logic or has a sufficient Math background for this course.

“Technology is a soaring exercise of the human imagination” -Daniel Bell

From the beginning of man’s creation, God has set it in the human heart to create through technology (Genesis 4:21-22). Technology has the power to be used for good and evil de-pending on the heart of the man that uses it. In the Scriptures we read of a city of sin being built called Babylon, and how technology was used to build a tower for the exaltation of self and ascension to heaven. However, we also read of a city of God (Genesis 11:3-4, Hebrews 11:10).

There is no doubt that the technology of computers along with a wide-ranging plethora of programs and applications have transformed the way our world communicates and solves everyday problems. Consider, for instance, our ability to take courses online through Scholé Academy. Like any technology, computer programming can be used for evil or for good, for the glory of man or of God. As Christians we ought to use technology to serve our Creator and further His kingdom here on earth.

Most students, while being familiar with the technology of a computer, have not been taught the details of how a computer works or have the ability to use it to create a program of their own. They have not thought philosophically, classically or Biblically about the important cultural implications and decisions that must be made regarding these ever-changing technologies.

In this course, students will step back from their familiar use of technology and with a classical rather than modern approach, learn the logic of computer programming: how computers work, and what logical processes they use. As they grasp these realities, they will come to a place where they will begin more easily to think like a computer or think in code, with the ability to create programs they can run for friends and family in a creative way. Along the way, they will be asked to consider important questions about the Christian’s use of technology so they can make better, more informed decisions about what they believe and what they will do in the technologically obsessed culture in which we live.

See Mr. Belfry's Welcome Video to the Logic of Computer Programming

As students learn to understand the logic of how a computer processes and thinks, which will be compared to that of a human (computers, after all, are created by humans), they will develop their own coding logic to solve problems in pseudocode (coding logic in an everyday, easy to understand language) and flowcharts (charts showing coding logic in an easy to understand, visual way). After they plan their code, they will create their program in the language of QBasic. Students will also be introduced to Web Design.

The result will be that students will become more aware of how the computer technology our world uses works and be able to create functional programs their family and friends can use as a result. They will be well equipped to more easily learn any new computer programming language and think in code. They will be able to make Biblical, ethical decisions about what technology they will participate in and how they will do it in a way that honors and serves God.

This course will also prepare students for a second semester course entitled “The Art of Computer Programming.” Taking this course will ensure that they are able to move more quickly into developing creative, visually based programs in Visual Basic and Web Programming by more easily grasping the logic of a new, visually based language. These two courses will help students to excel in computers and computer programming should they continue on in computer studies or to develop functional computer programs that will help in the career or business of their choice. It will help to develop their creativity and problem-solving abilities in the process.

This has been an excellent experience for my son. Interesting, challenging, insightful, and all from a Christian worldview. We are so thankful to have had a technology class grounded in truth. My son has shared that Mr. Belfry is engaging, knowledgeable, and very helpful.

This is an exceptional course. Our son actually looked forward to each session. The assignments challenged him and provided unique insights into the realm of computers and advanced technology.

Mr. Belfry’s thoughtful, faithful, and engaging instruction in his Logic of Computer Programming class has been such a blessing for us. My son loved learning how to code programs and build games with a new language. Mr. Belfry taught not only with step-by-step instructions, but also by inviting students to think about programming through the lens of the Bible, virtues, and the world around them. We are so grateful!

Here are several examples of programs that students made during the 2022-2023 Academic Year in this course:

Here are several examples of essays on new technology and dystopian short stories by students during the 2022-2023 Academic Year in this course.

At Scholé Academy, we have carefully considered how we should engage our contemporary culture as those who believe that Christ is the Truth (John 14:6), and that all truth has its source in him. We think it is important to provide our upper school students (in grades 7-12) with tools and opportunities for critically examining various cultural trends, issues and mores through the lens of orthodox, Christian beliefs. Being confident in the truth revealed to us in creation, the Scriptures, and the tradition of the church, we are not afraid to follow the truth and its implications nor to address error and falsehood. … Read more about our Faith & Culture.

Required Materials:
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.

Optional Course Texts:

  • Papers and essays will be submitted using basic MLA formatting guides.  The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers — 7th Edition may be a helpful resource.
  • For a great introduction to coding logic in general: How to Think Like a Coder: Without Even Trying by Jim Christian, which is available from Amazon here.
  • For an introduction to Web Programming: Simple HTML, CSS and JavaScript lessons to get you started with Programming from Scratch by Bob Mather, which is available from Amazon here.
  • Students should have an account created on https://replit.com/ for QBasic, which can be used for simple programs.
  • Students should have Notepad++ for website development, found here: https://notepad-plus-plus.org/downloads/

Peter Belfry has a range of teaching and tutoring experience in a variety of subjects and age levels from kindergarten through to adult education at the college level and has taught at several classical, Christian and public schools. He has enjoyed having the experience of teaching Programming and Logic classes to students, which ties well to his background in philosophy and computer science. In addition to serving as an instructor with Schole, Peter serves as a professor of Computer Science and Video Game Development with Canadore College, teaching courses on Operating Systems and programming languages such as Windows, Linux, HTML, CSS, C++, C#, and Visual Basic as well as Artificial Intelligence, Object Oriented Programming, Mathematics, Business and Workplace Skills. Peter holds an Honors BA from Trent University in History as well as a BA in Education, specializing in History and Computer Science. He holds an MA from Knox Theological Seminary in Classical and Christian studies, which provides him a background for teaching from a classical perspective. For his MA program, he read and reflected on many of the Great Books as well as studied Scripture and church history. Peter has completed a week-long teacher training with the Association of Classical Christian Schools and Rockbridge Academy. His favorite piece of classical literature is Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

In addition to teaching, Peter also has experience serving in a pastoral role and enjoys volunteering to serve in his local church and community. He helps in evangelistic outreach as well as teaching lessons from the Bible. Peter has experience and training as an English as a Second Language instructor as well. He has experience teaching both online and in person. He believes in Scholé’s approach in seeking “restful learning” and believes that education should be life-giving and freeing for the soul as it should acknowledge the Lord Jesus as the source of all that is true, good and beautiful. Peter lives in the North Bay, Ontario area with his wife and twin boys.

Peter provides tutoring services with Scholé Academy and teaches the following classes: The Art of Argument: An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies, Formal Logic: The Discovery of Deduction, The Logic of Computer Programming, and The Art of Computer Programming. pbelfry.scholeacademy@gmail.com

Quarter 1

  1. How Do Computers Think? How Should We Think About Computers?
  2. Thinking in Computer Logic: Pseudocode and Flowcharts
  3. Input/Output
  4. Variables
  5. Working with Variables in Decisions and Repetition
  6. End of Quarter Writing Assignment: Reflection on one’s own use of technology from a Christian perspective

*Throughout the course, students will be introduced to new technology, Bible verses, and quotes as the basis for discussion that considers technology from a Christian perspective.

Quarter 2

  1. Working with Variables in Decisions and Repetition Continued
  2. Advanced Input/Output
  3. Advanced Programming Techniques: Graphics, Sound, Images, Movement
  4. Troubleshooting
  5. Introduction to the Logic of Web Programming: HTML (time dependent)
  6. End of Quarter Writing Assignment: Essay or Dystopian Short Story reflecting on the benefits and dangers of current and upcoming technological advances from a Christian perspective
     

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit zoom.us/download.
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.

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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.

 

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