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The world is changing. One area of change is that many schools are adding more and more classes around programming concepts. The local high school in my town is adding advanced programming classes as well as a cyber security class for the students. The state legislation is considering pushing programming into the lower classes at the public schools as a mandated requirement, possibly all the way down into elementary schools.
Although pushing elementary kids to program might seem crazy, the reality is that many elementary teachers are already teaching programming by using a variety of games, customized kits (such as Spheros and Osmos), and simplified or customized programming languages. The reality is that there could be kids coming out of high school with years of programming experience.
In the following slides, I present some of the programming languages and tools that are available for kids (and grownups). Many of these are simplified versions that focus as much on the concepts of program structure as on the actual building of applications. Some can be used to create full applications; others are simply runtime environments. Each provides kids with a platform or tool to get started in programming and to learn the concepts.
Don’t look for C, C++, Java, Ruby, Python, or the common languages that you see developers using every day. Kids certainly can use these, but they are not the focus of these slides. Rather, what you will see are languages and tools aimed at kids. Even though they are aimed at kids, you might find that some are a lot of fun to use!
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