Teaching Kids 2 Hack

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Teaching Kids 2 Hack
Convenor: Stephen Chin
  • Stephen Chin
  • Heinz Kabutz
  • Tasos Zervos
  • Tom Logghe
  • Yakov Fain
  • Uros Djunisijevic
  • Giannis Skitsas
  • Giorgos Saslis
  • Marek Nowicki
  • [add name]
  • [add name]
Teaching Kids 2 Hack - JCrete2014

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Initial discussion revolved around Scratch and its use and effectiveness as part of formal education (primary/secondary). Yakov suggested whether more conventional/practical/OO programming training would be more beneficial and showcased his upcoming book on the subject. Following some discussion a consensus formed that children of different age groups may benefit more from different tools (see table below).

Later, Stephen discussed some of his experiences with organising coding/programming workshops with children of early teens (in the US). As part of this, Stephen showed some slides with little Mary's game as well as demonstrated a running Lego-Mindstorms-based wind turbine, which were 2 of the projects in his workshop :-).

The discussion then took to Minecraft and whether plugin development, in-game redstone creations or just playing was the disorganiser's children experience.

And a question seemed to be raised without a conclusive answer: are there any known ways for children to smoothly transition from simple logic tools (like Scratch) to conventional coding as part of continued learning? (Or looking at it another way, do the simple tools create a bigger barrier to a later transition and therefore it's preferable to go the conventional way from the start?)

  • Provide relatively inexpensive workshop material (bread-boards + LEDs, Raspberry Pi-s, etc.) and allow children to experiment and potentially/accidentally damage, break or destroy some of these materials.
  • Non-judgemental/encouraging workshop assessments vs. conventional "binary" assessment (inconclusive)
  • [others]

Frameworks/Techniques Age range
Scratch 8+
IntelliJ 13+
Minecraft middle
Legos/Raspberry Pi middle
Teaching kids 2 hack