The first clubs I started (Jan-Mar 2015) are over, and I wanted to jot down some notes regarding my experience. In general, both clubs (LEGO Robotics and 3D Game Programming) sufficiently entertained and engaged the kids, and I believe most kids were able to demonstrate basic skills that we developed in the clubs. Regarding both clubs as well, it was clear that 1 hour per week, once a week, is just not enough time to do much of anything useful. That is a big problem especially for the Robotics club, since only one kid in the class had a kit at home, so no one could really practice or go beyond the club material outside the club time. In the programming club, one or two kids went ahead to read the book and download code, but I didn’t get a sense they had really a greater understanding. Continue reading
For the past several months, I’ve been working with my friend Stephen Garland on exploring initiatives around teaching children using software development principles and tools. Currently, we’re getting a lay-of-the-land by cultivating content as we develop opportunities and directions in which to move forward. Once we have a structure for organizing these materials, we’ll be sharing them here as well as possibly through other venues.
Today, in honor of Computer Science Week, and Hour of Code, Steve led a workshop at the Santore Library in Philadelphia for a group of about 16-18 kids, aimed at ages 5-8, and I helped where I could. Here is a link to an article that Tony Abraham of Technical.ly Philly wrote about it. Continue reading