Evaluating Java IDES for teaching teachers.

Since Hunter uses C++ as it's core language, I haven't used Java much in the past three years. That's going to change pretty soon. Once we start offering our CS teacher Certificate and Masters programs I'll once again start teaching with Java as that's one of the langauges that we want to prepare our teachers with. That means deciding on a set of tools and so I've been spending time evaluating Java programming environments with an eye on the beginner since not only do the teachers I work with have to be comfortable with the tool but more importantly they will have to be able to support the tool for all of their students.

Java Interfaces

Two of the hardest topics to make meaningful to students in APCS-A are inheritance and interfaces. It's not that they're super difficult topics but rather that they're not often needed, useful, or superior to not using them on beginner assignments. More often than not the motivation is a bit forced as are the assignments. Inheritance is its own can of worms and to be honest, something I've not found to be all that useful or necessary.