Programming language for children

SD selsok at gmail.com
Mon Jun 15 14:46:43 UTC 2009


On Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 1:26 PM, Kjetil Halvorsen<kjetil1001 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I want to try to learn my daughters some programming language. (they
> are 13,14 years)
> In earlier times I would have thought about logo. What programming
> language, available in ubuntu,
> would you propose for this in our time?
>
> Kjetil
>

Wow there has been a lot or response to this but no one asked the question;
What are your daughters interested in?  I believe this will play the
most important
role in deciding how you proceed.  Programming is an art and like all
good intentions
you can deter the potential programer if learning is forced upon them.
(Like my son
and the $1500 piano that collects dust)

First I would figure out what your daughters like to do for fun on the
computer.  When
you have discovered this show them how they have control over it, even
though limited.
Example: it they like myspace, show them how to alter it by sharing
code, and little at a
time show them how to change, color, layout , typeset, ect... If they
like to draw show them
site design.  I can help you better once you compiled a list of there interest.

Second if they like what they can do, and the new found freedom of
coding interest them,
I would suggest a two part lesson plan. First  would be to continue
with the web coding,
introducing them to basic HTML, CSS, and Java script. Maybe to create
and maintain
their own personal or family website.  Second would be to use a
robotics to show more
dynamic coding. For this I would suggest ( based on closed source to
Free and open
source software  )
1st. Lego Robotics NXT,
2nd Lego Mind storms,
3rd Robomind  http://www.robomind.net/en/index.html
4th Guido van Robot http://gvr.sourceforge.net/

If they like doing the above and they can navigate the robot in Guido
van Robot, I say they would
be ready for more python http://www.python.org/community/sigs/current/edu-sig/
After they finish with the lego you could hack
Not eXactly C on the NXT http://bricxcc.sourceforge.net/nbc/
or
Not Quite C on the mindstorm http://bricxcc.sourceforge.net/nqc/
and start them off on learning basic C like coding

OK I hope this helps, this is the method I use to educate 9 - 16 year
olds in programming.
Of course more goes into it, especially when you find out what they
are interested in. So
don't forget to ask.

-- 
Selso K.
GNU/Linux FOSS Educator
Bridging the Digital Divide with Free Software

Freedom & Rights are not Debatable;
You must take it, keep it, and lock it
away deep into your soul forever.
Then fight to the death to keep it.




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