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goto fail; — Challenges and Considerations for Teaching Programming to Kids

goto fail; — Challenges and Considerations for Teaching Programming to Kids

Slides for Ben Gotow’s lightning talk at Click 2014.

Ben runs Foundry 376, a mobile development shop based in Nashville. He studied Human Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon, with a focus in educational technology.

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Jason Orendorff

March 08, 2014
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Transcript

  1. goto  fail;   Challenges  and  Considerations  for  Teaching   Programming

     to  Kids   Ben  Gotow  
  2. Me  

  3. Me  

  4. Let’s  Get  Programming   §  Give  children  the  tools  to

     be  creators  and  empower   them  to  build.   §  Programming  teaches:   §  Logic  and  reasoning   §  Emotional  development   §  How  other  subjects  can  be  applied  
  5. Programming  is  hard.   Teaching  is  hard.  

  6. Failure   §  To  learn  to  program,  you  need  to

     build  a  mental   model  of  the  environment  you’re  working  in.  Fail,   understand  what  happened,  try  again.   §  Failure  is  extremely  frustrating,  and  school  teaches  us   that  failure  is  bad.   §  Help  students  think  through  failure,  build  hypotheses,   and  decide  what  to  try  next.   §  Treat  failure  as  well  as  success  as  progress  in  learning.  
  7. Learning  Paths   §  Everyone  learns  at  different  rates,  and

     this  is   especially  true  of  programming.   §  Self  guided  practice  time  leads  to  unchecked  learning.   §  Small  groups  are  awesome.   §  Enlist  students  to  help  their  classmates  learn.   §  Allow  students  to  make  their  own  projects  so  work  isn’t   directly  comparable.  
  8. Lots  of  Questions   §  Once  students  start  building  off

     their  own  ideas,   they’ll  ask  about  things  you  don’t  know.   §  “When  I  send  an  email,  how  does  it  know  where  to   go?”  -­‐  Kindergartener   §  Show  students  how  to  use  online  resources.   §  Use  class  time  to  reinforce  debugging  and  problem   solving  skills,  let  students  learn  speciUic  tools  on  their   own.  
  9. No  Right  Answers   §  Once  students  get  through  introductory

     materials,   there  often  aren’t  right  answers.   §  Help  students  create  goals  and  establish  whether   they’ve  reached  their  goals.   §  Focus  on  what    
  10. None