Online MIT courseware

These two courses, whose materials are online, might be used to teach the younger students too!

Introduction to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science I

Lego Robotics

SAM Animation

SAM Animation is user-friendly software designed specifically for K-12 students and teachers, allowing for quick and easy creation of stop-motion animations in content ranging from photosynthesis to Newton’s Laws to poetry to fractions. SAM was originally developed at the Tufts University Center for Engineering Education and Outreach and is now an exclusive product of iCreate to Educate.

Peanutty… make it easier for people to learn how to program while having fun

Peanutty! was created by Jared Cosulich as a way to make it easier for people to learn how to program while having fun.

Basically it works like this:

• Person discovers Peanutty! and starts solving puzzles, conquering challenges, and just having fun.
• Person notices that everything they do creates code in the coding area.
• Person starts to play with the code, making larger and larger tweaks to see what happens.
• Eventually person starts writing code directly, potentially even creating their own challenge or puzzle to share with others.
• The next person who comes along has access to more interesting puzzles and challenges to play with.

The Journey Inside: A Fascinating Look Inside the World of Computers

The Journey Inside is a collection of 35 interactive, online lessons for students to learn about technology, computers, and society. Many of the lessons utilize interactive, media-rich Flash* activities, virtual field trips, and videos demonstrating the ideas discussed to guide students to an increased understanding of the world of technology. Students, teachers, and anyone interested can work on the lessons and activities at their own pace to complete any or all of the six sections: Introduction to Computers, Circuits and Switches, Digital Information, Microprocessors, The Internet, and Technology and Society. Detailed instructional strategies written for the teacher extend the lessons and key concepts in ‘the classroom.

There is no need to register. The curriculum is available for free, from any computer that is connected to the Internet. Students can work on the lessons from the classroom, during free moments, or even from home.

GitHub Wants to Teach Kids to Code with the First US CoderDojo

If you have kids (or you are one) and you’re in or near the San Francisco area, you might want to sign up for the GitHub-sponsored CoderDojo coming on February 25th. CoderDojo is a free, not-for-profit movement with a strong open source emphasis on open source that seeks to teach young people how to code and make learning “a fun, sociable, kick ass experience.”

The organization was founded by James Whelton and Bill Liao, and has focused mostly on Ireland until now. (There’s also a CoderDojo in London.) The program is for kids between seven and 18, and according to GitHub’s Cameron McEfee has been teaching “HTML, CSS, Javascript, iOS app development, and pretty much anything else they think sounds awesome.” Kids also get guest lectures from tech mentors and tours of tech companies, in addition to instruction on development.

Course: STEM Robotics 101

This introductory STEM Robotics master curriculum uses the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Education Base Set and NXT-G software to teach a full STEM Robotics course. This master curriculum is divided into 8 units, several of which contain lessons built around the “NXT Video Trainer 2.0” product from Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Academy. (This product is now available free online from CMU’s CS2N Courses site – see Classroom Management_Course Level Resources link below. These self-paced learning-to-program videos are supplemented with lessons on robotics hardware and underlying technologies, explicit math and science concepts, and the Engineering Process. Each Unit is broken into several lessons which typically include Objectives, an Instructor’s Guide, Primary Instructional Material, Differentiated Instructional Material (Alternative, Extended, and Supplemental), as well as Formative and Summative Assessments. This is a comprehensive master STEM Robotics curriculum. Users are encouraged to customize their own curriculum by selecting only those lessons best suited to their skills, and the needs of their students and school. The Scope & Sequence link below gives a Course-at-a-Glance view that may be used as a guide for customizing the course content. Access to Assessments and Answer Keys is limited to authenticated users. To request an account, select the Home button at the top of this page and apply for an account. Authenticated users are also encouraged to use the “Add Additional Instructional Material” and “Add Additional Assessments” Wizards located at the top of each lesson. Contributed content will immediately be available for other to use. Please review the STEM Robotics 101_READ ME File (see link immediately below) for guidance on conventions and use of this site.