We will explore the latest research on how children gain programming knowledge, how to keep them interested and excited, and how this might inform the way we support adult newcomers to programming. Practical advice and suggestions for activities will be given to attendees.
Have you ever tried to teach your kids programming? Do you have friends trying to learn as an adult? Have you ever wondered if you would have been better off learning to code earlier in life? The push for more people to learn to code has caused an explosion in the educational industry. Boot camps and certification programs of dramatically varying quality have emerged in nearly every corner of the world. These programs are often accompanied by lofty claims and promises. Children have been no exception to this, as more and more companies attempt to capitalize on the claim that children should start learning early because it's "like learning a language". However, research suggests that this might not be the most solid argument. We will be exploring: -What benefits are there in teaching them early? -How do children acquire programming knowledge? -How does our language around the concepts affect their understanding? -How do we keep their interest? -Can the answer to these questions inform how we teach adults coming in from non-STEM fields? This talk will focus on these questions by presenting the current data we have, in conjunction with anecdotal evidence from sessions with children and adults who code in python.