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How to Teach “Programming” Kenneth.Church@jhu.edu. Lecture 1: Education for kids Lego Mindstorms ( NQC : Not Quite C) Scratch Lecture 2: Unix for Poets Target audience: Grad Students in Linguistics Unix shell scripts (almost not programming) Small is Beautiful

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how to teach programming kenneth church@jhu edu
How to Teach “Programming”Kenneth.Church@jhu.edu
  • Lecture 1: Education for kids
    • Lego Mindstorms (NQC: Not Quite C)
    • Scratch
  • Lecture 2: Unix for Poets
    • Target audience: Grad Students in Linguistics
    • Unix shell scripts (almost not programming)
    • Small is Beautiful
  • Lecture 3: Symbolic Processing
    • Target audience:
      • MIT Computer Science Majors (circa 1974)
    • LISP: Recursion, Eval, Symbolic Differentiation
    • Lambda Calculus (“Small is Beautiful” beyond reason)
lego mindstorms
Lego Mindstorms
  • Iphone & Lego:
    • Better Together
    • Video
  • Rubik’s Cube:
    • Video
  • Sampler:
    • video
  • Knitting Machine:
    • video
  • Popular
    • with target demographic
    • video
the origins of mindstorms http www wired com geekdad 2007 03 the origins of
The Origins of Mindstormshttp://www.wired.com/geekdad/2007/03/the_origins_of_/
  • Papert participated in educational projects at MIT which used the forerunners of the Lego Mindstorms system.
mindstorms
Mindstorms
  • When children are young, they are incredibly facile learners. 
    • If your child were to spend some time in France, it is likely he or she will pick up quite a bit of French. 
    • "What would happen," asked Papert, "if children who can’t do math grew up in Mathland, a place that is to math what France is to French?"
  • In the 1970s, Papert constructed a kind of Mathland using the LOGO programming language, and robotic turtles that could draw pictures. 
    • These tools were used by very young kids, who would not ordinarily be exposed to concepts like angles and polygons. 
    • Papert’s book, Mindstorms, recounts this fascinating story. 
social computing
Social Computing
  • Community: LOGO (none)  LEGO (youtube)  Scratch (built-in)
  • Emphasis: Community & Sharing
    • Man machine interface  Kid2kid
    • Machines should be seen (but not heard)
  • Scratch = LOGO/LEGO + Web Search
    • Keywords to try:
    • Circle_Circus, Fold Symmetry, Rubik’s Cube, Guitar Hero, BigPaw, Birthday
  • Instant gratification (Option to Run without downloading)
  • Source is always available
  • Lots of Mashups
  • Comments, tags, more projects by, recommendations, etc.
  • Stats/Community Feedback:
    • 1116 views, 6 taggers, 64 people love it, 4 remixes by 4 people, 41 downloads, in 3 galleries
is this computer science or is this just fun
Is this Computer Science,Or is this just fun?
  • Social Computing
    • Emphasis on Community
  • GUI (Graphical User Interface)
    • Drag-and-drop
    • Lego Mindstorms on Steroids
  • Manuals/Documentation
    • Available (but not recommended)
  • Small Language
    • 8 menus  Circumscribes “reserved” words
  • There are smaller languages
    • Lambda Calculus
    • But smaller is not necessarily simpler
    • Or more accessible
  • Evaluation?
    • What is Success? For a language? Community?
homework
Homework
  • Bring Laptops for next time
    • If you use Windows: Please install cygwin
  • Suppose you have a 12-year-old kid sister.
  • Design a scratch project for her.
  • Ok to start with some other student’s project and ask her to modify it in some interesting way.
  • The project should be fun (and educational), and make her want to learn more.
  • What are the computer science principles?
    • Learning Moments (or just plain fun)