I start my investigation of kids coding tools with studio.code.org The website is really well organized, and you don’t have to give away your email or sign up in order to start playing around with the games.
Programming Elsa to walk in a certain path is harder than it looks! This puzzle has just a few lines of code to choose from, but you have to decide what order to put them in, and what degree of a turn she should walk, plus how many steps she should take in a straight line. You really have to think like a computer, or like a robot with blinders on.
It’s pretty exciting to see whether your code works. If you make a mistake, you get pointers on how to fix it.
I still don’t know how I could have used only 4 blocks.
This is a nice way to learn coding, and I think kids could catch on much more quickly than adults. This really is a different language.
It would appear that #hashtags actually do have a #purpose, and it’s not just silly #JimmyFallon jokes. I got some great responses from a tweet linking to my previous blog post.
Here’s some advice from my ol’ buddy Richard, who is one of the most savvy computer science and math guys out there. He also has a kid, so I’m confident his suggestions are legit.
Our lovely instructor Valerie Irvine has all kinds of fun ideas that I hope to get organized. Her 8 year old might give me some insight into how Minecraft works, and the Gaming Fellow from the ministry might be able to join us for an info session.
My next thought is to do some research on coding for kids. My husband works in the web design industry, and he pointed out that coding is just as valuable a skill as math or science in the job market. If it’s in demand in the workplace, why not expose little kids to it while their minds are fresh and nimble. A little bit of coding never hurt anyone (unless you include how much my eyes hurt after coding and crying in my 2nd year comp sci classes at university). Perhaps if I had been exposed to coding at an earlier age, things would have been a tad easier.
Off I go to Reddit, to find some advice on coding with kids.