Today I ran through the first tutorial at Code.org. It has 20 very short lessons that use Angry Birds and zombies to teach the very basics of programming – instructions, loops, and conditionals. It was very well done, a nice UI supplemented with some short and interesting videos as you progress.
Tonight I asked my daughters to try the same tutorial. One is almost 7 and the other is almost 10. My oldest zoomed through all 20 lessons, only needing help a couple times. My younger daughter did the first four or five and then decided to return to Minecraft, I’ll get her to try again later in the week. Both seemed to find it fun. I don’t know that this less than an hour exercise made my daughters decide to be programmers but it did give me a chance to show them just a little about what I do and what they might be able to do with a computer. Maybe it’s a seed planted. We’ll see.
I’m a believer that learning goes best when the learning is incidental to accomplishing something. Coding, woodworking, pick the hobby of your choice – it’s a lot more fun when you’re not learning for what feels like the sake of learning. Especially…especially…when you’re on the very first steps of the learning curve.
Kudos to the team at Code.org, you did something good!