L2C4K Fall 2015 Week 1 Kicks Off

We successfully and simultaneously kicked off week 1 of the L2C4K youth programming class at both Thomson Reuters and Saint Kateri School.  Class is on Saturdays at Thomson Reuters and Wednesdays at Saint Kateri.  The first part of the lesson focussed on introductions and establishing some basic terminology and understanding about what is a computer, what is code, etc.

[Slides] Embedded (Click on slides below to advance):

Perhaps the most exciting part of this lesson was the "Hello World" exercise.  We walked students through opening up their JavaScript console and writing a "Hello World" program - see slide 19.  This was pretty challenging because it required the students to type the exact commands, use precise "punctuation" etc.  

Here's a sample program that they had to type in:

console.log("Hello, World");

The most complex version, asked them to enter their name and then send a message back to them with their name in it:

var name = window.prompt("Hello, what is your name?");
window.alert("Hello, " + name);

Does this code kind of make sense to you?  Have a closer look at this example:

See the Pen Hello, World for L2C4K by John Duprey (@jduprey) on CodePen.

Most of our exercises will use a graphical programming language in code.org (based on Blockly) that will be much more fault tolerant and allow the kids to focus on the concepts.  

The second lesson was taken right from code.org's 20 hour level 2 track for elementary school.  It introduced the concept of "algorithms".

[Slides][Activity Sheet][Example Sheet]

The material is pretty similar to the last session.  It is still largely based on Code.org's Course 2 material.  I have streamlined it a bit since last time, though.  I'm still considering areas we should cover beyond the Course 2 material.  There's some good thought provoking material from CSUnplugged and I still like the idea of getting them to write a little text-based code - similar to our "Hello World" program.