Do you remember being in class and wondering, “Why don’t they teach us about anything we’re interested in?” The criticism passed through sixth-grader Thomas Saurez’s mind too, except he did something about it.
Suarez started thinking about how he and kids his age enjoy playing apps and videogames and how school doesn’t teach them the programming skills they needed to create their own. As a “technophile” since kindergarten, Suarez already new several programming languages, so he decided to teach himself how to develop apps. One app he created was a “Whac-a-Mole” style game called Bustin Jieber.
After he learned the way of the app, he started up an app club at his school. The members share their creations with each other and also ask teachers for input on what apps they can make that could assist them in the classroom.
You might know some kids with the same drive to learn more about technology but with not as many years of expertise as Suarez. In a recent New York Times article, “Computer Programming for Children, Minus Cryptic Syntax” Peter Wayner shares an extensive list of programs for youth that teach basic programming skills. The article includes:
Share these free programming sites with your kids and challenge them to create. Also, check out the TEDx talk by Thomas Suarez.
“Sixth-Grad Developer Teaches Students How to Make Apps,” by Liz Dwyer. 11 November 2011. Good. Accessed on 16 November 2011. http://www.good.is/post/this-sixth-grade-developer-is-teaching-students-how-to-make-apps/
“Programming for Children, Minus Cryptic Syntax,” by Peter Wayner. 9 November 2011. The New York Times. Accessed on 16 November 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/technology/personaltech/computer-programming-for-children-minus-cryptic-syntax.html?_r=1