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Programming Education

Excite Kids To Code By Focusing Less On Coding 207

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-by-bribing-them-with-candy dept.
the agent man writes "The Hour of Code event taking place December 9-15 has produced a number of tutorials with the goal to excite 10 millions kids to code. It's really interesting to contrast the different pedagogical approaches behind the roughly 30 tutorials. The University of Colorado's 'Make a 3D Game' tutorial wants to excite kids to code by focusing less on coding. This pedagogy is based on the idea that coding alone, without non-coding creativity, has a hard time attracting kids who are skeptical of computer science, including a high percentage of girls who think 'programming is hard and boring.' Instead, the 'Make a 3D Game' activity has the kids create sharable 3D shapes and 3D worlds in their browsers, which they then want to bring to life — through coding. There is evidence that this strategy works. The article talks about the research exploring how kids get excited through game design, and how they can later leverage coding skills acquired to make science simulations. You can try the activity by yourself or with your kids, if you're curious."
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Excite Kids To Code By Focusing Less On Coding

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  • by Brett Buck (811747) on Saturday December 07, 2013 @09:09PM (#45629951)

    Coding for it's own sake is *easy* and boring.

  • by cascadingstylesheet (140919) on Saturday December 07, 2013 @09:31PM (#45630083)

    I love to code and have been ever since I owned my first computer, but the kids are right. Programming is hard and boring compared to a lot of things they could be doing. So may we can try to help them understand why this hard and boring task is still worth their time. Instead of try to put lipstick on that particular pig.

    Most things worth doing have their hard and boring stretches ... but when that program works, or that music plays beautifully, or whatever it is just comes together, there is a lot of satisfaction.

  • Not just kids (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Saturday December 07, 2013 @09:46PM (#45630139) Journal

    I've never learned any language for it's own sake, and I've always been interested in programming as long as I can remember.

    Every time I've tried to learn a language just to know it, it's about as successful as pushing a string. As soon as I have some goal I'm excited about where not knowing a certain language is getting in my way of achieving it, I learn virtually effortlessly.

  • Re:Since when... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 07, 2013 @10:05PM (#45630229)

    The push is to get young girls into programming. Because if young girls can't do what a grown man can, that would imply that grown man are superior to young girl in at least one thing. And that would get the feminists mad. So keep pushing kids into stuff that do not interest them, because you go girl! Nothing is more important then proving men are inferior.

  • by narcc (412956) on Saturday December 07, 2013 @10:39PM (#45630381) Journal

    Yeah, it's so hard that children can easily teach themselves. It's ridiculously easy. How many of the users here taught themselves to write code before they age of 10? Face it, it doesn't take a special mind or superior intellect to write code. It does not make you special. Get over it.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Saturday December 07, 2013 @11:10PM (#45630491) Homepage Journal

    Why the hell the push to force more women into programming? Programming is a dead-end job. The stats and personal experience show a good percent move on to something else. Burnout, RSI, ageism, long-hours, etc. are real issues in programming. Women want stability because they often end up being the primary care-givers of families for good or bad, and programming is NOT stability.

    If you like programming, that's fine, but don't expect to be able to stay in it for more than 15 or so years. Have a Plan B.

    I'm just the messenger.

  • Re:Since when... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 07, 2013 @11:32PM (#45630581)

    Exactly. Programming was never "boring" to the right kids. We don't need the other kids.

To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.