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Teaching Ruby to Kids

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Slides for LA Ruby Conf presentation: http://larubyconf.com/presentations/4

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Teaching Ruby to Kids

  1. 1. Teaching Ruby to Kids Or, how to do your part for world domination. Sarah Mei Saturday, February 20, 2010 1
  2. 2. Ohai • sarahmei (twitter, github...) • Software engineer @ Pivotal Labs • Teaching is my hobby • Workshops for adults • Workshops for kids Saturday, February 20, 2010 2
  3. 3. Why? Most programming instructors = FAIL. Programming is becoming part of basic literacy. Saturday, February 20, 2010 3
  4. 4. Why should you teach? • It’s rewarding to spread your excitement about programming to someone else. Saturday, February 20, 2010 4
  5. 5. Why should you teach? • It’s rewarding to spread your excitement about programming to someone else. (blah, blah, blah...) • Teaching leads to learning Saturday, February 20, 2010 5
  6. 6. Teaching: not rocket science • You already have all the tools you need • You already use all the techniques you need Saturday, February 20, 2010 6
  7. 7. Agile teaching Look familiar? • Set goals • Form a plan, but expect to adapt • Keep iterations short • Listen to the customer • Deploy continuously and listen to feedback Saturday, February 20, 2010 7
  8. 8. Set goals Specific, immediate, measurable, achievable Saturday, February 20, 2010 8
  9. 9. I want Aiden to grow up to be a developer. Saturday, February 20, 2010 9
  10. 10. I want Emma to get interested in programming. Saturday, February 20, 2010 10
  11. 11. I want Lily to be so excited that she explores things on her own after we’re done. Saturday, February 20, 2010 11
  12. 12. I want Jack to enjoy programming so much that he looks forward to the next time. Saturday, February 20, 2010 12
  13. 13. I want Ada to be my little clone being so I can subcontract work out to her when she turns 10. Saturday, February 20, 2010 13
  14. 14. I want the kids to leave excited about what they can build, with enough tools to keep exploring. Saturday, February 20, 2010 14
  15. 15. Form a plan (but expect to adapt) • Also known as, “what do I start with?” • Keep your goals in mind. • Tools: • Shoes • Hackety Hack • Small Ruby Saturday, February 20, 2010 15
  16. 16. Notice a theme? • Kids love anything visual • They also love anything interactive • irb: compelling for adults. • (Maybe.) Saturday, February 20, 2010 16
  17. 17. Your plan • Install all the tools you might use on all the computers the kids have access to. • Start small • Use teh intarwebz Saturday, February 20, 2010 17
  18. 18. Keep iterations short • Your “lesson plan” should be a series of very small steps • 15 minutes or less • Visual change Saturday, February 20, 2010 18
  19. 19. Listen to the customer • Follow tangents! • Don’t stick to a plan because it’s the plan • Don’t worry about “finishing” • Look for teachable moments • Look for signs they’ve turned off Saturday, February 20, 2010 19
  20. 20. Deploy continuously • Teaching is a learned skill. • Take all the opportunities you can to teach. • talks at your local meetup • pair programming • summer camps, etc., need volunteers • National Lab Day • In SF, I always need teachers for introductory workshops Saturday, February 20, 2010 20
  21. 21. Expect some things you try to fall flat. Keep at it. Saturday, February 20, 2010 21
  22. 22. To sum up • You should teach. • You can teach. • Agile is for more than just development. • Practice. Saturday, February 20, 2010 22
  23. 23. Questions Saturday, February 20, 2010 23

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