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Inspiring Kids to Code Using Scratch and Other Tools


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In today’s age, it is important to have a basic understanding of computer programming, but it can be difficult to teach these skills to kids unless fun tools are introduced to help make programming easy. In this webinar, learn Scratch, a “programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art” that will teach “important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.” Other tools and applications will be covered to give kids practice programming while having fun!


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Inspiring Kids to Code Using Scratch and Other Tools

  1. 1. Inspiring Kids to Code Using Scratch and Other Tools
  2. 2. @cmairn
  3. 3. What is computer programming? • A set of commands a computer understands – like a recipe. • Computer programs can help cure diseases; drive cars; create video games; make animated movies/graphics; build websites and apps; and much more. • Basic coding concepts are used by most every program and most every programmer. • To learn more visit
  4. 4. Is coding a cryptic visual of typed languages? Or a process? Or both?
  5. 5. Why learn to code? • Why not? • Learn the importance of clarity/brevity of expression. • Be able to think and problem solve more accurately. • Build something useful and maybe start a business. • Have a better understanding of how technology works. • Have fun! • Do you think it is valuable to learn to code? Why?
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  7. 7. Check out “Programming with Natural Language Is Actually Going to Work” by Stephen Wolfram.
  8. 8. Alexa, what is 5,000,000 times 5,000,000,000?
  9. 9. “It has often been said that a person does not really understand something until he teaches it to someone else. Actually a person does not really understand something until after teaching it to a computer, i.e., express it as an algorithm.” Donald Knuth, in American Mathematical Monthly
  10. 10. “Computers have proven immensely effective as aids to clear thinking. Muddled and half-baked ideas have sometimes survived for centuries because luminaries have deluded themselves as much as their followers or because lesser lights, fearing ridicule, couldn't summon up the nerve to admit that they didn't know what the Master was talking about.” James P. Hogan in Mind Matters
  11. 11. Describe in natural language how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  12. 12. Makerspace/playground Visit for more details on the Innovation Lab [Makerspace @ SPC]
  13. 13. Game-based Learning Using competitive exercises to get students to challenge themselves with the hopes of motivating them to learn better and more meaningfully.
  14. 14. “The trick is not in knowing the single solution. It’s having lots of different options and solutions to turn to.” Source: Wired Magazine April ,2012, page 22
  15. 15. Kinect in Education • Robotic controls • Augmented Reality in Twitter • Enhance theatre arts • Navigate locations, operating systems etc. • Learn to play guitar • Explore anatomy • Learn sign language • Manipulate air drawings (Brainstorming) • Innovative presentation tool Source:
  16. 16. Some Beginning Coding Resources • Lightbot is a programming puzzle game that gives the user a one-to-one relationship with programming concepts. Try it today at! • Hopscotch: Coding for Kids is an iPad programming language. Download it today at . • wants to bring Computer Science classes to every K-12 school. Check it out at and find some excellent computer programming tutorials. • Scratch helps children create stories, games, animations, and also lets them share these projects with others around the world. More info at • is a free iPad app that brings coding to students as young as age five. • gives children opportunities to program in order to solve puzzles. is similar. • Visit Medium for a “2 minute read” listing other ideas and resources to help inspire children and teens to code. • There are several MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) and other freely available resources that offer computer programming classes. Coursera, Udacity, and Edx are great examples. Also, Khan Academy has some great resources for kids and adults too! • A Google search query for computer programming resources for kids limited to the last year can be found at
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  18. 18. is a programming language for everyone. Create interactive stories, games, music and art and share them online. …
  19. 19. Download/Install Scratch
  20. 20. Scratch’s Development Environment
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  23. 23. Create an account
  24. 24. Demo Example projects w/in Scratch Checking out community projects Creating a project Sharing your project Explore
  25. 25. Image source:
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  27. 27. Limit Screen Time! Teens playing Settlers of Catan in Portland Public Library
  28. 28. What are you doing?
  29. 29. @cmairn
  30. 30. Let’s Hangout!