Teaching Kids to Program

THAT Conference 2014
Day: Mon, Aug 11   Time: 10:30 AM   Location: Cypress (map)
Level: 3rd Grade – 5th Grade (and up)  Primary Category: Family  Secondary Category: 
Tags: kids, intro, programming
If you are going to That Conference, you likely know how valuable programming skills are, and perhaps you one day want your kids to learn these skills too. Programming teaches kids many valuable lessons: how to think logically and rationally, how to plan ahead, how to problem solve, and how to swear properly. But how do we teach kids to program today? When we were kids we were ecstatic to see a green blinking cursor on the screen prompting us to type our name so we could have the program print it repeatedly on the page while(true). How do we get today’s kids with XBoxes and Nintendos interested in rudimentary programming of “if” statements? In this session Emily Davis (age 12) and her dad Scott will discuss four programming languages and how they work for kids: Lego Mindstorms, Python, and C#. We will demonstrate each language and talk about Emily's experience in each, what worked well and what didn’t, and what approaches you might take to get your own kids into programming.  Emily will also demo the application she has build for the Windows 8 store.