I just wanted to give an update on an earlier post – A Daily Double on Programming.
Yesterday, James started his first Hour of Code project…and I must say, I came away impressed.
The first few projects are Click and Drag interfaces, that allow build on logical thinking and incorporate Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies (games that kids already know) into the learning process to help them understand the core concepts.
While James enjoyed the sense of accomplishment and game aspect of site, what I particularly liked, was that at any point – you can click on the “Show Code” option and actually see the source for what you are telling the application to do. This (to me) was very beneficial when explaining to him what was going on “under the hood” and to also show him that programming is not as daunting as he originally thought.
Throughout the first hour, there were also videos from famous people (such as Bill Gates explaining IF statements) to also inspire and motivate. Even at the end, there was a quick clip of a NASA engineer explaining that, regardless of how simple what they did seemed, there was a practical application to the process….as this would have been an example of how they controlled the Mars Rovers.
Finally, at the end there is a printable Certificate for the child’s accomplishment. Words cannot explain how proud James was to show his Mom when she came home. While it might not supplant his All-American Award in Football, I bet it came close.
To me, I was just happy to pass on the Sombrero…because, even being a programmer can be fun.