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.