aspose file tools*
The moose likes Teachers' Lounge and the fly likes Any suggestions for software to teach Java? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Books » Teachers' Lounge
Bookmark "Any suggestions for software to teach Java?" Watch "Any suggestions for software to teach Java?" New topic
Author

Any suggestions for software to teach Java?

Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
As I mentioned yesterday in my blog, I'm getting set up to teach a software development course using Java. If things work out, I may actually be teaching two slightly different Java courses, but only one is definite, so far.

Next week, I really need to speak with the Network Services people at our college, to sort out installation of the software I will need. Sure, the course won't be staring until September but, by all accounts, letting them schedule stuff well in advance is always a good idea. Although we are the "Office Technology and Computing" department, we have no computing resources of our own. Each of our computer classrooms is lined with 20-30 generic PCs, all running Windows 2000 and logging in to central servers maintained and configured by Network Services. We don't have admin priveleges to install or configure software. We don't have any servers of our own to run web applications or store shared files.

My issue at the moment is what software installation to ask for. I know the kind of software <i>I</i> use when I'm developing software for clients and for my own community projects, but I don't knowe if that would make sense for students with little or no experience of Java (or even programming in general). It's made more tricky by needing to specify it all up-front. In pretty much every other setup I've put together, we've had the freedom to add another jar or two to the classpath if necessary.

I guess a recent Java SDK is a must, and I hope I can ensure that the browser plugin and webstart are there as part of that. But what else? An IDE? An editor? A test framework? A build system? A useful collection of jars? any specific teaching tools (I quite like Jurtle and BlueJ, for example), anything I've missed?

I'm also keen to find a way of running some server-side software for the students to interact with. As it stands at the moment, I have to use things on my own personal sites out on the "real internet", but this has all sorts of issues that running software inside the college firewall would solve. I'm hoping that my forthcoming discussion will address some of this stuff.

In the meanwhile, if anyone has any experience or suggestions to share...


Read about me at frankcarver.me ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
Alan Ford
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 26, 2003
Posts: 107
Hi
I would recomend to look into textpad (realy nice and easy).
If PC is more powerfull then why not eclipse (to simulate closer
what they will be doing in real situation).
I guess in this economy IDEA is out of the question .


TNT<br />MCP, SCJP 1.4,
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
I'd advocate against using ANY IDE during teaching.
Using one only locks your students into a tool while they should be learnings a programming language.

If it's a general programming class rather than a Java class you may even consider (if there's time) to mandate 3 languages, 2 languages picked by you and let them choose a third of their own.
That way they learn programming without locking into the idiosynchracies of any one programming language.

I thank (mentally) my teachers regularly who taught me C++, Pascal and Assembly and didn't concentrate on one or the other for simplicity.


42
Marlene Miller
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 05, 2003
Posts: 1391
perhaps a UML editor, such as http://horstmann.com/violet/
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

I think it will also depend on how much actual programming will be done by the students in class. That's typically what labs are for, so if you are having a lab then you will need to be concerned about what to get installed. If the students will be required to code for homework at home, then creating CD's with everything they need would be good.

Now, as far as what would be need either way, I would say.

  • Latest JDK (not 1.5)
  • Latest API Docs - Downloaded
  • Notepad or equivilent (I know some teachers who require all work to be done in Unix, so...


  • And that should really be it, depending on what you are teaching of course. I mean, is this a programming class or a Java programming class. And are you going to be getting into J2EE? Maybe a little more info or your syllibus would be useful in answering some of these questions.


    GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
    Howard Kushner
    author
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Sep 19, 2003
    Posts: 361
    Well Frank, I wish you the best of luck.

    I have taught a wide variety of Java courses over the past 5 years using the JDK and IDE's. Although there is an additional learning curve associated with any given IDE, I still prefer that approach and I'll tell you why.

    IMHO students will ultimately use an IDE in the real world, and I am used to teaching adults who are preparing to use Java as soon as they return to their jobs. Generally, my students work for companies who have chosen IBM products, so WebSphere Studio becomes the IDE of choice.

    I believe that IBM has discounts for schools. I do not know the details regarding your particular situation, but I wish you success!

    Regards,
    [ May 24, 2004: Message edited by: Howard Kushner ]

    Howard Kushner<br />IBM Certified Enterprise Developer - WebSphere Studio Application Developer V5.0<br />IBM Certified Advanced System Administrator - WebSphere Application Server V5.0<br />IBM Certified Solution Developer - Web Services with WebSphere Studio V5.1<br /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1931182108/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Developing J2EE Applications with WebSphere Studio</a> my Certification Study Guide for IBM Test 287
    Alan Ford
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 26, 2003
    Posts: 107
    Marlene I liked Horstman class. You should hear his lectures.
    Something like head first java live . For books horstman is the
    best choice (uh will Kathy read this?).
    Alan Ford
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 26, 2003
    Posts: 107
    To those that "advocate against using ANY IDE during teaching"
    it is sadistic, contra productive, and ineficient.
    Student will make about 60% more work to acomplish same goals.

    with textpad you get all error messages as in command line.
    so why you dont give them a break? and yes you can strech them
    trough 3 languages in one semester so they will mostly fail but
    who cares you will show them how smart you are...
    Jeroen Wenting
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 12, 2000
    Posts: 5093
    I'd want my students to know the language and compiler and NOT be bogged down into mindless buttonpushers who know only which wizard to use next and don't understand the code they produce.

    Yes they'll use some form of IDE most likely in the real world, but schools are NOT the real world.
    You also don't know WHICH IDE they'll be using, and most likely that one isn't around yet right now as most will see at least one major version a year and if this is what it looks to be an introductory course these students are several years away from hitting the professional market.

    Howard would give an excellent course specifically geared towards Websphere developers, but for me or the people in my company that course would be utterly useless as we use different products altogether.
    If he teaches an introductory course, he'll spend more time teaching the product than the underlying technology and all that knowledge will be wasted unless the students already know the underlying technology and/or will not have to use it afterwards or the course is long enough that they can have time to learn the tech as well.

    I'm not advocating not letting them use an IDE at some stage, but delay the introduction of advanced tools like that until late in the curiculum so they know how to do things the hard way first.
    I've seen people completely puzzled who were for the first time forced to use a commandline. They didn't know which button to push, how to do ANYTHING without a GUI with wizards hiding everything from them.
    Is that the kind of person you want to have on your team?
    Or would you rather have someone who can code in VI and compile from the commandline and isn't afraid of unpacking a jar?
    Kathy Sierra
    Cowgirl and Author
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 10, 2002
    Posts: 1572
    Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

    Yes they'll use some form of IDE most likely in the real world, but schools are NOT the real world.
    You also don't know WHICH IDE they'll be using, and most likely that one isn't around yet right now as most will see at least one major version a year and if this is what it looks to be an introductory course these students are several years away from hitting the professional market.


    This is pretty much how I feel as well.

    I'd much rather teach with no IDE at all, although textpad isn't a bad idea either. I taught Java full-time at Sun for four years, at all levels from non-programmers, to C++ programmers, to EJB and Jini programming, and we NEVER taught with an IDE, including Sun's own tools (thank goodness--THAT would have scared people away ). People appreciated that they weren't spending a single synapse learning the ins and outs of a tool they might not ever use, and that they would then know exactly what an IDE was doing on their behalf when they DID use one. Some people did, however, complain about the lack of a decent basic *editor* (and I sure don't recommend vi for beginners!!!).

    I'd vote for no IDE, but a simple code editor would be nice.

    But truly, this is not the key consideration for whether the class is successful. If the learning theory is sound and learners are successful and working at a challenging, but do-able pace, they'll be happy regardless of the tools. You just don't want the tools to get in the way of the learning. Same goes with the argument about objects-first vs. not. Either approach can work really well if it's handled right; there's definitely not a One Right Way to teach this stuff.

    The most important thing is whether you are taking them to a level where they can DO things... ultimately, to where they can be creative. What is that minimum threshold? At Sun, some instructors would teach a jam-packed class, spitting out every possible detail and nuance, but by the end of the course, the students heads exploded and they were overwhelmed but couldn't actually DO anything. In other words, the students HEARD a lot of stuff but couldn't DO anything. Better to have them *hear* far, far less... but be able to actually *do* something interesting.

    The more you get them to figure out on their own, the better, so you can tease them and seduce them and make them curious to experiment and work out the details. So, if there's too much hand-holding without enough hands-on (for example, giving them the solutions to labs ahead of time is usually a bad idea), the learners are robbed of the chance to really flex their brain cells and think for themselves. Make 'em use their brains both logically and creatively, and they'll have the opportunity to feel really smart. But if you give it all to them, then they are passive receivers who won't get that kick that comes from accomplishing something and working it out for yourself. OK, so I'm just spouting off general learning theory here But I do agree with the theorists that believe a teacher's job is to provide an environment in which the learners can co-construct the knowledge, as opposed to the teacher trying to shove knowledge into their heads. That means a lot of exercises (not necessarily formal labs) and leading questions, rather than lecture.
    I always knew when I did a poor job of teaching, because I'd have a sore throat from talking too much. That's what I'd always fall back on when I wasn't prepared enough with questions and activities that were designed to get them to think and experiment.

    Also, sometimes the best learning experience is one in which you fail to get what you expect. Roger Schank talks a lot about this in his book (World Class E-Learning), and this tracks with how the brain works... (this exact same theory comes up in filmmaking as well). Here's how it goes: if you talk about something, and explain how it works, and then they do a lab that demonstrates the thing you just told them would happen, well, what have they learned? Nothing new. They got what they expect. They got a little practice, that's it. Ho-hum. But if you lead them down a garden path... something that looks like it shoud work, and then they experiment and it does NOT work as expected... it fails or breaks in some way... they will NOT forget this. Now they've learned as a result of that WHOA! WTF? experience.

    Any exercise that encourages them to experiment and break things... or to repair things that are broken, as opposed to just recreating something they already know works...

    If I were sitting down to design a course today, I'd put at the top of my paper: What can I do to make them curious and interested? What can I do to get them to where they can be creative? And finally, What can I do to help them feel like THEY kick ass, as opposed to thinking that *I* kick ass? (too many teachers try to impress the students with how smart the teacher is, but IMHO it's way better for everyone if the students leave your class impressed with how smart THEY are).

    I'm envious! I miss teaching Java. Today, I have to rely on readers sending me emails in order to get that fun feedback that you get in a classroom. Only now I often get too much email to even read it all or my junk mail filter is too ambitious...

    Have fun!
    Whatever path you take will work out if you keep the course focused on what THEY do, as opposed to what YOU do.

    cheers,
    Kathy
    Marcus Green
    arch rival
    Rancher

    Joined: Sep 14, 1999
    Posts: 2813
    For me the one key feature an IDE can provide that is very helpful to beginners is a debugger. I am frequently startled by students who have been learning Java for a year or so without ever using a debugger.


    SCWCD: Online Course, 50,000+ words and 200+ questions
    http://www.examulator.com/moodle/course/view.php?id=5&topic=all
    Don Stadler
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Feb 10, 2004
    Posts: 451
    Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:


    I'd much rather teach with no IDE at all, although textpad isn't a bad idea either.


    I started learning Java out of one of the Sams '21 days' titles (using Dos windows and Notepad), then attended a second-level class course on 'Java Api' taught with the Deitel courseware on JBuilder 5. I felt that JBuilder actually got in my way rather than helping at that point. I was trying to figure out how to do something and I'd often have to figure out how to persuade JBuilder to do it. Though that isn't what angered me about JBuilder. I don't mind learning an IDE. The propblem was the way Borland treated their JBuilder users - like milk-cows. There seemed to be an upgrade every three months - with a $1000 ugrade fee each time! Who can afford that?!!!

    I use Eclipse now - the price is right. IntelliJ seems to have the right idea as well.

    Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:

    Some people did, however, complain about the lack of a decent basic *editor* (and I sure don't recommend vi for beginners!!!).


    Careful now, you're treading on rotten ice there.... Vi rules the multiverse. Either vi or emacs, I forget which...... Ever try ed?

    Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:

    The most important thing is whether you are taking them to a level where they can DO things... ultimately, to where they can be creative. What is that minimum threshold? At Sun, some instructors would teach a jam-packed class, spitting out every possible detail and nuance, but by the end of the course, the students heads exploded and they were overwhelmed but couldn't actually DO anything. In other words, the students HEARD a lot of stuff but couldn't DO anything. Better to have them *hear* far, far less... but be able to actually *do* something interesting.


    Yup. It's ALL about being able to solve you're OWN problems. The problem with the Java API class was that it was too much lecture and not enough lab - combined with the fact that what lab there was tended to be pasting code from the Deitel book into JBuilder and running it. The thing of real value I got from the class was the experience downloading and setting up tools (particularly tools using different versions of the JRE).

    After that course I stuck to home and work learning. Unfortunately that has it's limitations also, mostly because one can spend hours butting one's head against a brick wall on things which a good teacher would have gotten you through in a few minutes.

    Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:
    The more you get them to figure out on their own, the better, so you can tease them and seduce them and make them curious to experiment and work out the details.


    How do you structure a course to give that kind of freedom? Lot's of do it yourself with the teacher walking around to help get people over humps in the road? That could work.
    Don Stadler
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Feb 10, 2004
    Posts: 451
    Originally posted by Marcus Green:
    For me the one key feature an IDE can provide that is very helpful to beginners is a debugger. I am frequently startled by students who have been learning Java for a year or so without ever using a debugger.


    True. I think the IDE belongs in a second class perhaps. Perhaps the class which introduces Java tools and frameworks like Struts, Hibernate, etc.
    Jeroen Wenting
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 12, 2000
    Posts: 5093
    haven't used a debugger in years...

    Hard to debug web applications running on a remote machine where you can't hook into the JVM...

    Debug statements, small step development, writing as much as possible stuff that's unit-testable outside the application using JUnit, help a lot.
    And you gain a lot of experience telnetting to serverlogs to gleen stacktraces in the process
    Frank Carver
    Sheriff

    Joined: Jan 07, 1999
    Posts: 6920
    Thanks to everyone for participating in this, especially Kathy, who seems right on the button with what I would like to achieve.

    So, really, I'm right where I was at the start of this thread. I know what I want to do (offer my students plenty of ways to play, learn, experiment, discover, create and grow) but currently have no software in place to do so. As I said at the start, I guess a Java SDK is a must, but what else? I don't care much about the editor vs IDE issue (although my natural tendency is to prefer the explicit over the implicit), what I'm really looking for is neat suggestions for software, jars, APIs, etc. that will help enable and stimulate my students.

    If I were running the machines myself, I'd defer the decision as long as possible, and find/install anything that sparks the interests of the specific people in the class as we go along. Unfortunately, in the bureaucratic world of state education, things are never that simple.

    Decisions must be made soon, or (umm) something bad will happen (err) obviously. Can't have just any old teacher installing things just because they help the students learn, can we. :roll:
    Frank Carver
    Sheriff

    Joined: Jan 07, 1999
    Posts: 6920
    To answer some of Gregg's points and set the scene a little. I'm not quite sure what the term "lab" means, we don't use it where I teach. All the lessons will take place in one of the computer classrooms at the college. The one I will mainly be teaching in has about 30 PCs arranged around the room, all facing the walls. Each machine is on a very small "workstation" table with just about enough room for a keyboard and mouse, and no real room for paper and pens etc. All the machines are connected to a network, and run Windows 2000. When anyone logs in, their complete login context is fetched from a small farm of central servers, which also host a smallish data area for each student. All the machines have internet access, although a tiny and poorly-thought-out selection of sites have been "banned" at the proxy.

    All the machines are locked down with no admin access, and all have dynamic IP addresses. This is significant, because it gives no way for staff to run servers or server-side applications.

    On the up side, at least this room has a central table area without any machines on it. I can probably gather up to about 20 people around the central area for non-computer tasks, where appropriate. (The rooms I have been teaching in for last 18 months have no such area. Imagine that, every lesson in a classroom with nowhere to put a book or write anything down ) Recently we've also gained a ceiling-mounted projector in each room with speakers on the wall and a screen that gets in the way of the whiteboard.

    It may therfore be that all these lessons would count as "labs" in your terms, or maybe not. Based on my recent experience of teaching databases and spreadsheets to 17-18 year-olds, one of the largest problems is preventing them from spending the whole lesson on chat sites and playing flash games, rather than making progress with the course material. Sigh.
    David Weitzman
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 1365
    Kathy: Some people did, however, complain about the lack of a decent basic *editor* (and I sure don't recommend vi for beginners!!!).

    I remember a few years back when an Apple guy attempted to throw away all the preconceptions about text editing and design a new kind of text editor that would be easier for people to use. It had quite a lot in common with VI, in the sense that your hands never need to leave the home row and there are multiple modes for editing. I think beginners would be the ideal candidate for a unique and powerful editor like VI. After all, if you're going to make the poor folks type everything out in full you might as well teach them a few tricks for efficient text editing.

    From a less technical point of view, teaching newer programmers VI now can prevent them from adopting Emacs. Using Emacs would increase their likelihood of suffering from Repetitive Strain Injury later in life. Preventing that is surely a noble cause!
    Jeroen Wenting
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 12, 2000
    Posts: 5093
    Frank, isn't there a way to block internet access for the teacher?
    If not, maybe it should be installed promptly if the network admins can't be bothered to tighten the firewall to allow instead of block selected sites (which would be only those sites linked to from the intranet without access to any other servers outside the LAN).

    You can of course run servers on a DHCP network, but you can't rely on the IP staying the same.
    Alan Ford
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 26, 2003
    Posts: 107
    Or would you rather have someone who can code in VI and compile from the commandline and isn't afraid of unpacking a jar?

    Coding in Vi (huh Vi I remember it was something from the 90's or before right?), comandline is not impresive either. Unpacking a jar (and skill to change it properly is welcome). HOwever I am not sure that some people here realy understand what is needed today. Productivity. Programmer in USA is expected to produce 3 times more code thann in India? Why?
    In India there are 3 programmenrs for same $. So go figure why is noone
    going to your class to learn Vi, paskall, modula2 and fortran (in one semester).
    Frank Carver
    Sheriff

    Joined: Jan 07, 1999
    Posts: 6920
    Frank, isn't there a way to block internet access for the teacher?
    If not, maybe it should be installed promptly if the network admins can't be bothered to tighten the firewall to allow instead of block selected sites (which would be only those sites linked to from the intranet without access to any other servers outside the LAN).


    There is a "process" whch we can follow to request that certain sites be banned, but it takes a long time (typically weeks), and the students usually work out how to get round it in a few days.

    The main problem is that in a college-wide context, blocking or drastically reducing internet access is unacceptable. The internet is one of the most powerful research and learning tools available - cutting students off from it would be like having a library with only a handful of carefully selected books. Most courses in the college teach mostly in ordinary (tables, chairs and whiteboard, etc.) classrooms, and occasionally do specific internet research activities. Our department is unusual in that we have computers in the classes all the time

    You can of course run servers on a DHCP network, but you can't rely on the IP staying the same.

    Sure. Unfortunately, I have enough trouble telling students simple URLs like "http://www.javaranch.com/", ones with potentially changing IP addresses which they can't bookmark sounds like a recipe for disaster. It may end up being the route I have to take, though - unplug one of the student machines and plug in my own laptop, find out its IP, and get the students to connect to it. Clumsy, incompatible with the usual ways of working, and unavailable outside my classes. Sigh.
    James Chegwidden
    Author
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 06, 2002
    Posts: 201
    Frank,

    I have been teaching java since Fall of 2000, although I have been teaching Java via Distance Learning for the past 4 semesters. I have taught java and other programming classes (full time)in the classroom as well. My two cents:

    Frank, isn't there a way to block internet access for the teacher?
    If not, maybe it should be installed promptly if the network admins can't be bothered to tighten the firewall to allow instead of block selected sites (which would be only those sites linked to from the intranet without access to any other servers outside the LAN).

    There is a "process" whch we can follow to request that certain sites be banned, but it takes a long time (typically weeks), and the students usually work out how to get round it in a few days.

    The main problem is that in a college-wide context, blocking or drastically reducing internet access is unacceptable. The internet is one of the most powerful research and learning tools available - cutting students off from it would be like having a library with only a handful of carefully selected books. Most courses in the college teach mostly in ordinary (tables, chairs and whiteboard, etc.) classrooms, and occasionally do specific internet research activities. Our department is unusual in that we have computers in the classes all the time

    You can of course run servers on a DHCP network, but you can't rely on the IP staying the same.

    Sure. Unfortunately, I have enough trouble telling students simple URLs like "http://www.javaranch.com/", ones with potentially changing IP addresses which they can't bookmark sounds like a recipe for disaster. It may end up being the route I have to take, though - unplug one of the student machines and plug in my own laptop, find out its IP, and get the students to connect to it. Clumsy, incompatible with the usual ways of working, and unavailable outside my classes. Sigh.


    We have a similar situation at our college about internet access. We have computers in all our CS classrooms that are on a local network. People outside academia do not realize the limitations and constrants a college/department has on networking/internet issues.

    Almost, two years ago our department bought software called Syncroneyes



    This software, as well as other similar software, has solved a lot of problems (ie. surfing the internet while not paying attention), especially since we teach our programming courses: C, C++, VB, Java as "hands on" which I feel is a great way to teach programming.

    Talk to your lab manager/dept chair about this product or similar products- it will benefit all instructors.

    Now the IDE question:

    I am in the non-IDE catagory for teaching Java as well as C#. I have taught it this way since the beginning. Why?? J2SE and notepad(Windows) are FREE. We at the college do not have to pay for site licenses. Students can also access Java and Notepad for free as well (with Internet access/Windows).

    We do use an IDE for VB and C, C++- Visual Studio .NET. IDE's are good but as some one previously mentioned above- you have to teach how to use the IDE which for some students is ...not easy. I will teach C, C++ and Java this fall and with C and C++ I have easy step by step instructions for the students to create/open programs/files. Students can check out VS .NET through the MSDNAA program. Bottom line: if you use an IDE make sure you have step by step instuctions on a handout for students to follow and a way students can access the software easily from home/work.

    Frank, I wish I was in your shoes only teaching java, but I will this fall teach a course in C and MS Office (2) as well as C++ and Java via Distance Learning. Four different preps. I also will have a C# project going on, other school functions etc.

    I least I am having fun- and I am not teaching VB or Database for once.
    Hope my ideas/thoughts/rantings help.

    JC.

    [ May 30, 2004: Message edited by: James Chegwidden ]
    [ May 30, 2004: Message edited by: James Chegwidden ]

    Author and Instructor, my book
    Alan Ford
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 26, 2003
    Posts: 107
    It may end up being the route I have to take, though - unplug one of the student machines and plug in my own laptop, find out its IP, and get the students to connect to it. Clumsy, incompatible with the usual ways of working, and unavailable outside my classes. Sigh.

    Hey I can help with finding ip of the user.
    Use free .PsExec from
    PsTools
    Copyright � 1999-2004 Mark Russinovich
    Sysinternals - www.sysinternals.com
    to login to his/her c prompt find Ip and dictate it to the student.
    Good luck
    Dan Johnsson
    Greenhorn

    Joined: May 31, 2004
    Posts: 24
    Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:


    I'd vote for no IDE, but a simple code editor would be nice.



    I agree completely. In my few years experinece of Java teaching I most of the time have found that an IDE more often gets in the way then help. Problem is that any IDE with self-respect have project management built in and that could trip over anyone new to a language.

    I use jEdit [www.jedit.org]. Even when teaching EJB. Free. Easy download. Easy install. Simple. Helpful. Recommended.

    /Dan
    E Weibust
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 13, 2003
    Posts: 54
    This is a little late, but here is my two cents....

    If it's a beginner class teach Java not the IDE. Don't let teaching/learning one take away from the other. You could recommend a few IDE's at the end of the class.

    I would recommend using TextPad or UltraEdit over notepad because then your students will get the benefits of Java keyword/syntax highlighting. They'll visually know what is a keyword. It will help them see their missing double-quote closing a string. Those are little things, but they help beginners.

    Erik

    ps. vim does a great job color coding java code.....


    ---<br />Erik Weibust<br /><a href="http://erik.weibust.net" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://erik.weibust.net</a>
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
    subject: Any suggestions for software to teach Java?