david / koontzfamily.org writes:

> With the caveat that I a have students that are
> either 50% programming / 50% art students or 100% art students and are
> taking a required course, my experience has been that the concepts are
> where people are getting hung up, not the syntax/language constructs.

Now you mention it, I'd like to add one more thing: Don't do too much
math.

The CS class I need to attend is led by a maths/physics teacher, and
we use Pascal---a language that sucks at string/symbol processing.  A
lot of my pals get turned off by calulating factorials, printing
square roots or doing fibonacci stuff.

With the languages considered here---Scheme, Ruby or Smalltalk---you
have the great possibility to do better.  For example, write a small
database-like system with a few hashes, or a vocabulary trainer, or
whatever.  Sure, some of these math things are "essential", but there
is so much more computers can do that is not number-crunching.  Your
students will like it, especially if they are not maths-oriented anyway.

-- 
Christian Neukirchen  <chneukirchen / gmail.com>  http://chneukirchen.org