Software programming has come a long way for students and younger children since the days of Logo. Syntax has been replaced with connecting blocks and the triangle turtle has been replaced with custom artwork children create themselves.
Other changes include the assumptions we make when teaching children to program. For instance, multi-threading and event processing are easier to teach than functions.
While computers are ubiquitous in children’s lives, how much of using computers is being transferred into training computers? And does programming offer something beyond the utility to something akin to re-enforcing the academic and problem-solving skills taught in school?
This session discusses the new crop of kid-friendly programming languages as well as how best to teach them. This includes: * Etoys * Alice * Scratch
The session focuses on Scratch, as the best interface for teaching younger children, but also shares a teacher’s perspective of what works and what doesn’t work and how the open source community can help create a (potentially new) environment helpful to both students and their teachers.
My first job in high school was teaching Basic and Logo programming to 8 year old kids. While I do mostly coding nowadays, I’ve gone back to elementary school to teach programming to the kiddies, and think it should be added to the standard curriculum.
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