[Techtalk] Ideas for tech subjects for teens?
jennyw at dangerousideas.com
Sat Feb 12 05:09:22 EST 2005
One thing that hasn't been mentioned ... You might want to take a look
at Squeak. It's a multi-media environment that kids can use to write
games, simulations, etc. There is material for teachers (there's a book
called "Powerful Ideas in the Classroom" by B.J. Allen-Conn and Kim
Rose). It's been used to teach things besides programming, but of
course that is available as well. The programming language is Smalltalk,
which is about as easy to learn as any programming language.
Squeakland (a place for educators):
The Swiki (lots of info):
You can read the mailing lists using a news reader by connecting to
If you teach programming, I'd suggest looking at pair programming. There
are some papers by Laurie Williams, et al at http://pairprogramming.com/
that talk about its use in educational environments.
Also, you might look at test-first programming -- it builds up good
habits and gives people a lot of confidence that they're not going to
break something by changing code (because they can always go back if a
test fails; the green light is a nice validation, too). There's a bit of
info here http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?TestDrivenDevelopment and also a book
by Kent Beck called "Test Driven Development: By Example".
A lot of people mentioned HTML -- if you teach this, it might be good to
talk about the semantic Web and accessibility issues. A lot of HTML
looks okay in a browser, but it'd be really tough on someone who's
blind. This could segue into Web search engines, since well-formed XHTML
docs are by nature more optimized for searching.
Akkana Peck wrote:
>With regard to R/C cars: how about working with solar cells to
>make solar-powered cars or robots? Or simple computer control
I have a friend who teaches science to various kids in various grades
and she's included alternative energy subjects -- you can learn a lot
about science and get something practical, too, by learning how to heat
water and generate electicity from solar power. Composting with worms
might be fun, too, although that's getting way off computers ...
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