Teaching Children Programming and Linux

Matt Price matt.price-H217xnMUJC0sA/PxXw9srA at public.gmane.org
Wed Jul 16 14:57:33 UTC 2008

On Wed, 2008-07-16 at 10:21 -0400, Aaron Vegh wrote:
> On 16-Jul-08, at 10:01 AM, Lennart Sorensen wrote:
> > On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 08:12:16AM -0400, Kamran wrote:
> >> I would be interested to hear experiences and recommendations that  
> >> any
> >> of you have teaching young children how to program and how to use  
> >> Linux.
> >> My niece asked me the other day "Are you going to teach me all about
> >> computers?"
> >
> > You could teach them LOGO, Pascal, and python.  Python makes it easy  
> > to
> > do nifty graphics and sound stuff too without having to get into  
> > boring
> > details.  The python pygame library in particular is great fun to play
> > with.
> I guess the corollary question would be: what age could/should one get  
> a kid involved in programming? I like the idea of starting a kid on  
> Python or Javascript, but when?
> And it would be awesome if there were some specific learning resources  
> that could take them through a course of study.

i've had some fun with my 9-year-old using the Turtle Art application on
her OLPC.  this is a logo-like tool that uses a scratch-like
"snap-together" visual interface.  It's quite limited but has been loads
of fun; what i like best of it is that the logic of looping &c is tied
to a geometrical interface (making spirals, loops, and other patterns)
so the underlying mathematics is brought home to the kids in a very
visceral way.  i highly recommend it; there are various ways to use it
without a olpc, most obviously using a simple vm, or, if you're on
ubuntu, installing the olpc 

here's a olpc link that might help:
and some links about scratch, which is itself a very cool project:

scratch is quite a bit more flexible than turtle art, but as a
consequence doesn't map onto the mathematical concepts quite so well.  

anyway have fun and report back!


> Cheers,
> Aaron.
> --
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Matt Price
matt.price-H217xnMUJC0sA/PxXw9srA at public.gmane.org
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