Learn to Program – all ages

My ten year son is quickly catching up to me in terms of comfort with command line / terminal.  He’s going through Learn to Program with Minecraft Plugins, which I heard about through our local Coder Dojo.  It’s an intro to programming in Java with Minecraft as the interest / lure.  I was surprised to find that he took a command-line approach in the book, but even more surprised to find how readily my kid picked up on it.  I highly recommend picking up the e-book if you want to learn programming yourself or want your kids to learn.  Prior to this we picked up Scratch, which we also got introduced to through Coder Dojo, but I found that the kids quickly devolved into just playing games or spending hours drawing instead of actually learning to code anything.

For my six year old, though, I found Kodable for free on the iTunes store.  I found it while searching for something that was (a) based on Logo and (b) would work on the iPad.  Kodable is extremely well done – it teaches concepts like iteration and conditional logic through a series of puzzle games with cute graphics and sound effects.  My daughter doesn’t feel like she’s learning, she feels like she’s playing a game and letting her play is a “reward” rather than an exercise.  After her first session, she told her mom “I’m contracting for baba (daddy)”!

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