Monday, 11 March 2013

B1: Knitting, thimbles and programming: How does it stitch together?


Steve Bunce

How can we teach programming to young children? Where do we start? Can knitting help? Programming has really hit the headlines since over the last year, but how can we get children interested from an early age? How can we develop their skills through school and encourage learning at home?

Knitting and programming

In this practical workshop, we will look at hands-on ways to approach teaching programming. Analogies will be made with knitting and how that can benefit the children's use of technology. Everyone will have a go at finger knitting and take away a small piece as a reminder. Steve has been investigating with schools and knitting clubs to find evidence of examples to support this hypothesis.

Google and Computational Thinking

Sequencing activities using physical objects will be demonstrated to introduce and develop computational thinking. Google has been promoting the development of computational thinking in schools (http://www.google.com/edu/comput...). Fun practical games will be shared to really enthuse the children and explain difficult concepts.

Mozilla and Thimbles

Mozilla have been developing tools to support children to learn to program and become 'webmakers'. 'Thimble' is one example of a tool to introduce the use of programming in a fun and engaging way (https://thimble.webmaker.org/en-US/).

Hello World

In this seminar, we will contrast the three approaches to teaching programming and link to the current research to support and challenge them. The aim is to promote discussions about how we engage children in programming and how we can support their learning at different stages in their development.



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