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Sharing code-love with youngsters

a.k.a. I WANT THEM TO LEARN AND NOT JUST PLAY MINECRAFT ALL DAY

I’m writing my post mainly to moderately desperate parents seeing their children in front of computer screens flooded with seemingly useless games. I’m also writing my post to excited older brothers/older sisters/uncles/aunts whose lives’ are devoted (~committed, ha ha.) to making the world a better place with programming. And this post is definitely for all of those who wish to share their love of computers with kids. This post surely won’t give you any kind of magic spell to suddenly make everyone interested in exactly the field you personally prefer, but it may help with some useful advice on how to get started, and I will also try to expand your perspective to understand the learning process and people better. We will start with a little psychology with the aim of turning out a list of platforms and software suitable for children to improve their skills of algorithmic thinking, game-creating by themselves and generally translating their ideas to code.

I’ve been teaching children of age 7 up to 14 about various kinds of topics, but in the last few years I’ve concentrated on informatics. During this time I experienced how the “perfect” learning process can be different for each person, but we can surely find some stuff in common. The first thing that you probably want to discover is the main motivators of the child who you wish to teach.

Tips About Motivation:

Tips About the Platform:

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The topics and the appearance is suitable for both kind of gender stereotypes. They offer a surprisingly wide area of character personalization. This is cool, but of course at least half of the costumes are locked at first. The figures and the backgrounds are beautiful. Tynker also shows tutorials and examples to give you a basic knowledge about using the block language. Moreover, you can publish your work and explore the community around you. If your eyes are sharp enough, you can find a Teacher Guide included for some of the tutorials. I found the amount of physics-related options included in the block library very interesting. For example: using gravity, applying forces, detecting distance and collisions. They also happen to have a lot of MineCraft-specific content and games with very teenage girlish looks. I would recommend it from age 8 and up, because reading is not a problem by then.

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Well, these were my ideas about code-love sharing… and the 6 year old self inside me was doing somersaults while playing with these cool things. I wouldn’t really be able to choose a personal favorite, because it should be different for every age group, but I hope it will be useful to bring the family together and I wish all of you good luck raising smart new programmers everywhere!

And by the way! MineCraft is not bad at all! Join your kid, try it and you will also see the opportunities!

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Latest post by Réka Bújdosó

Sharing code-love with youngsters