Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kid 2, Teaching the Teachers

I started the Girls Can't Code blog about 3 years ago with my 4-year old. Now I have another 4-year old who can't use Vim yet, a kind of a clean slate if you like. Should I teach her Vim or Emacs? Start with the command-line or go for Scratch to begin with?

I have to admit that she's already exposed to some coding stuff though: we've played the Robogem board together quite a few times. That doesn't make her a coder yet, and she can't read or write much yet but certainly shows interest in learning to do so, so I think this is a good time to start pounding the keyboard.

Today we kinda started that by launching the lovely Bubble Bobble game on our good old Commodore 64.


I've put a sticker with instructions for starting games on the machine, so it was just a matter of writing exactly as the paper said. But it takes some effort to find all the keys on the keyboard and to type the quote characters which require you to hold Shift while pressing the key. She made it the first time though and got the game running. She's playing with her big sister as I'm writing this.

Btw we did a little Turtle Roy refresher with Big Sis couple of days ago. She had forgot most of her mad skillz since we haven't been doing our computer lessons too often lately. We still have our little Egg Alert game project to complete. If I remember correctly, we have some images scanned and uploaded to Scratch. Hope so, as her computer (old Macbook Pro) broke down and she has to use mine for now.

Oh and yesterday I went to the Kilonpuisto School to teach programming to the teachers. That was good fun and I got a lot of positive feedback along the lines of "I'm no longer scared of coding now that I got to try it". There's a lot of work to be done now that programming is a part of the national curriculum in Finnish schools, while the teachers are still mostly clueless on how to teach something they know mostly nothing about. But like the teachers discovered yesterday, coding is not rocket science; anyone can learn the basics and have fun doing so. 

Which probably applies to rocket science as well. Good luck Mr Elon Musk, I hope you get to Mars one day and come back alive, too!

1 comment:

  1. *computer too often lessons lately > computer lessons too often lately