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Teaching Kids Game Programming
 

Teaching Kids Game Programming

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For quite a few summers, I've taught kids ages 11-14 an Introduction to Programming Course held at the Young Scholars Institute. The kids start not knowing anything and after 5 days they have written ...

For quite a few summers, I've taught kids ages 11-14 an Introduction to Programming Course held at the Young Scholars Institute. The kids start not knowing anything and after 5 days they have written full games using Java and Processing.org. I will do an overview of how and what I teach them, their learning process and how to keep them interested, and what I've discovered through the years. There will also be a few demos of the games the kids have written, including Tron Light Cycle, a version of Guitar Hero, and others. (Demos not in the presentation) You can watched the talk at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/2370164

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    Teaching Kids Game Programming Teaching Kids Game Programming Presentation Transcript

    • Teaching Kids Game Programming Christopher Cotton Barcamp Nashville 2009
    • Why? why teach kids coding? why this talk?
    • Why teach kids?
        • Wished I had this
        • Kids get so excited, a real challenge
        • Inspire them to learn more
        • The Future!
      Why this talk?
        • I love the teaching
        • Better than building widgets
        • Inspire you
    • But, really why? demo: video
    • What? Intro to Programming
    • What do I teach?
        • Functions, Class
        • Graphics, Screen Layout
        • Math
        • Animation
        • Event driven
        • Game Logic
    • What? but really what do I teach?
    • But, what really?
        • Logical Thinking
        • Experimentation
        • How to Teach Yourself
        • Thoughts into Code
    • Where? YSI
    • Where?
      • Young Scholars Institute (YSI)
        • Part of Franklin Special School District
        • Around for 25+ years
        • 2 Weeks during the Summer
        • 1400 Kids, 120 Teachers
      • http://fssd.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=110&Itemid=207
    • What technology? Language?
      •   processing.org
      • java
    • Why Processing?
        • Full running app in one line
        • FREE FREE FREE
        • Runs on Mac/Linux/Win
        • More complex event driven
    • What do I teach? details details!
    • First day most common question?
    • First Day
        • When can we get on the computers?
        • Car racing!
        • Functions
        • Drawing, colors
        • Overview of processing, reading docs
        • demo:
      • 01 drawing
      Content
    • Second Day most common question?
    • Second Day
        • Where do I put this code?
        • Animation - movement
        • program structure
        • if
        • demo: 
      • 02 first playing with random 03 animations
      Content
    • Third Day most common question?
    • Third Day
        • Why is it doing this?!?!?!
        • Game basics - health, score, collision
        • key moving, mouse control
        • Each kids on different path
        • demo: 
      • 04 block style games (not breakout!)
      Content
    • Fourth Day most common question?
    • Fourth Day
        • How much time do we have left?
        • Building their own game
        • demo: 
      • 05 almost art 06 guitar hero
      Content
    • Fifth Day and Beyond most common question?
    • Fifth Day, Beyond
        • How can I get this?
        • Finishing Their Game, Demos! Demos! Demos!
        • demo: 
      • 07 tron light cycle 08 written over the year
      Content
    • Final Thoughts  
    • Final Thoughts
        • Challenge: not answers
        • Let them learn
        • They built a game!
        • Amazed at just one week
        • So Much Energy, Fun
    • Go teach your passion Q&A
    • Contact me:
      • http://christophercotton.com/