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Education: As the Need for Young Programmers Rise So Do the Resources to Help Them …


Young programmersYou would have to have been living under an incredibly large rock to not be aware of the exciting, technological world we live in today. Every part life has been touched by this technological renaissance and it has just begun. This seems to indicate that as different as the world is today, tomorrow will be even more so. We have long thought that for the children of this society to thrive they have to be educated differently than we were.

Kids Need to March to a Different Beat

This wave of technology and the impact that it carried with it were almost entirely unexpected. Ten years ago mobile phones were only just becoming wide-spread. Now some studies such as the Pew Internet & American Life Project suggest “nearly half of American adults are smartphone owners.” That number can only grow as more and more teens and young adults obtain these devices.

But where adults are growing more comfortable with these new technologies, children are coming of age in a world permeated with it. As the stewards of this upcoming generation we must find a way to ensure that a greater number of these young people become creators of technology as opposed to just consumers of it. This is a job that requires new tools and new approaches.

Help is Here

Fortunately these concerned are shared by a great many very talented people. They are using their skills to create new tools to help children (and we adults with child-like skill levels!) to learn different programming languages. We cannot think of a better beginning to solving the issue of creating a generation of technological creators rather than one of consumers.

Thanks to these concerned, talented programming professionals there are several online resources for young people to begin their own programming careers.

  • KidsRuby – The goal of this great site is summed up on their About page with one sentence, “KidsRuby makes it fun and easy to learn how to program.” 
  • Lego Mindstorms – More than just a way to learn programming, Lego Mindstorms integrates robotics that any age child will find interesting. 
  • MSDN Kid’s Corner – This is Microsoft’s effort to open the programming world for beginners and kids as a doorway to some of the most powerful platforms in the world. 
  • CodeAcademy – This fantastically popular resource may not be targeted at “kids” but it certainly does make it easy to begin learning JavaScript. The experience is complete with badges you can earn as you progress.

A World Filled with Possibilities

We have to say that the more we researched this post the better we began to feel about the future. We began with a feeling kids today were falling through the cracks, but ended up feeling reassured that there were plenty of people willing and wanting to help others learn to use and create the tools of the future.

If you know of a good resource to help kids or beginners start their path towards programming leave us a comment. We are always interested in spreading the word about good educational resources. Besides, if we can find a powerful and simple resource, we may even be able to learn to program …

- KFD -

Image credits: Ilouque and hackNY.org.

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