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The Art of Computer Programming | Spring

Eligible Students:
Grades 9-12th (open to 8th only under required pre-requisites) Designed for high school students, to gain understanding of the art of designing quality computer programs to develop their own visually based programs, develop their creativity and help them to more easily learn and use visually-based computer programs in the future. Discussions will also involve issues surrounding the Christian’s use of computer technology from a Biblical, Classical perspective. The student should have completed The Art of Computer Programming in the Fall semester, Formal Logic, and/or have a sufficient Math background for this course.

 “Technology, like art, 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 art of computer programming: how computers can be used in a way that glorifies God and promotes goodness, truth, and beauty.

This course, intended to follow the semester course entitled “The Logic of Computer Programming,” teaches students how to use the skills they have developed to create meaningful, problem-solving and even beautiful and artistic creations that include a more visually appealing and interactive program. Focus will shift from the previous course’s focus on QBasic’s more text-based, console programming language to more visual languages and from an introduction to the basics of web design with HTML to using CSS for a more visually appealing design.

The course will introduce these concepts along with visual user interaction with programs. The focus will be on studying programming in Visual Basic. Students will focus on designing visually appealing and interactive programs for users. This will include visual output. Throughout, discussions will continue about the use of technology from a Biblical, classical perspective. Students will consider how technology can be used to glorify God by solving problems for users in a simple, artistic way. They will be encouraged to create projects that will help to solve problems as well as express the nature and creativity of God.

This course will give students a foundation for developing programs in any programming language by teaching them how to use visual languages in a creative way. It will give students a foundation for understanding the way visually based computer programming works so that they can more easily learn any new language. It will be brought to the student’s attention that programs developed should be visually appealing or artistic to a user.

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 artistically 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.

Taking this course will ensure that they are able to move more quickly into developing creative, visually based programs by more easily grasping the logic of a new, visually based language. This course, along with the first course in its series, “The Logic of Computer Programming” will help students to excel in computers and computer programming should they continue on 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.

See Mr. Belfry’s Welcome Video to the Art of Computer Programming

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!

Explore Writing Samples From This Course
Explore Project Samples From 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.
  • Required Free Software: Please download and prepare the following software ahead of the course

    • Students should also install Visual Studio on their computer to work with Visual Basic. Ensure during install all Visual Basic and .NET elements are installed, other elements for other programming languages are not required. There are various versions. Make sure to download the free community version. In terms of the year, we will work with the 2019 version. The 2022 version would also work. An older version such as 2015 should also work sufficiently if needed on your computer.
    • Students should have Notepad++ for website development.

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 3

  1. How is Computer Programming Art? How Can it be done to Reflect God’s Glory?
  2. Pseudocode and Flowcharts, Sketching/Diagramming a Program
  3. An Introduction to Visual Basic, the Form, Controls, and Code
  4. Working with Variables
  5. Working with Variables Continued: Decisions and Repetitions
  6. Writing Assignment: Reflection on one’s own use of technology from a Christian perspective for creative, visual, and artistic purposes
     
    *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 4

  1. Advanced Visual Basic Coding Techniques
  2. Object Oriented Programming
  3. An Introduction to the Art of Web Programming (time dependent)
  4. Writing Assignment: Essay or Dystopian Short Story reflecting on the benefits and dangers of current and upcoming creative, visual, and artistic 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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