Author Topic: Teaching coding to a 12 year old  (Read 3490 times)

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Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #50 on: March 21, 2024, 01:41:04 pm »
And so, that is why I am asking how to teach a 12 year old how to program. Right now I am torn as to how to do it, after reading all the responses. Would a 12 year old really sit still and learn programming by typing in commands. Like hey were going to get the computer to add up 10 numbers and give us the result.
That's exactly why I suggested Godot Engine, as the coding part really only comes in if/when they want to make things work better.

Just before the turn of the century, I worked with university students who wanted to become art teachers.  Very few of them had any kind of technical background, and many had not used a computer before they started university.  In Macromedia Director, you had a timeline, like in audio and video editors, where you could drop elements and do 2D animation without writing a single line of code.  To make conditional actions like clicking on an element jumping to another point along the timeline, you needed to write a line of code ("go to frame N", IIRC) as the element onclick handler.  For more complex things, you needed to maintain state in variables, and write proper Lingo code.
This turned out to be a perfect enticement for those who wanted to make things to learn coding, even though beforehand they explicitly stated they have zero interest in computers and programming per se.

It is said, schooling tends to have the effect of stomping curiosity out of children
"Never let school interfere with your education" - Mark Twain :)
My dad, a teacher and later a principal in comprehensive school, always said the most important thing a teacher can do in the first few years of school is to find the things that interest each student, and motivates them to learn on their own.  The statistical results indicate he was definitely on to something there.
 
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Offline xrunnerTopic starter

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #51 on: March 23, 2024, 11:29:45 pm »
I dunno, NVIdia's CEO said that kids should stop learning to code. :popcorn:

Oh boy - true story follows ...

I just got off the phone with the Mother Hen. We talked about what I would want to teach them. I said I'd probably start off with showing them what the brains of a computer really is by letting them hold an old CPU in their hands, and go from there. Here it comes - but she also said the hubby (who does not do software or engineering) told her he didn't want them to waste time on learning coding because AI was going to do it all anyway.

See what I'm up against!  :palm:
I told my friends I could teach them to be funny, but they all just laughed at me.
 

Online brucehoult

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #52 on: March 24, 2024, 12:10:32 am »
didn't want them to waste time on learning coding because AI was going to do it all anyway.

About five years ago when I was living in Russia a prominent member of parliament said there was no point teaching computer science in the universities because all the graduates just left the country anyway.

I guess it didn't occur to hm to improve the country so the best people didn't want to leave.

They don't all leave right away. There were lots of very smart people in Samsung (and Intel, and MCST, and some others), but for sure a lot were getting two years experience and then getting jobs abroad with Arm or Google or Facebook or whatever.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #53 on: March 24, 2024, 12:33:43 am »
I dunno, NVIdia's CEO said that kids should stop learning to code. :popcorn:

Oh boy - true story follows ...

I just got off the phone with the Mother Hen. We talked about what I would want to teach them. I said I'd probably start off with showing them what the brains of a computer really is by letting them hold an old CPU in their hands, and go from there. Here it comes - but she also said the hubby (who does not do software or engineering) told her he didn't want them to waste time on learning coding because AI was going to do it all anyway.

See what I'm up against!  :palm:

Warned you. :horse:
But I'm still baffled by how fast this bullshit is spreading. Incredible.
 

Offline xrunnerTopic starter

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #54 on: March 24, 2024, 12:39:32 am »

Warned you. :horse:
But I'm still baffled by how fast this bullshit is spreading. Incredible.

Oh yea it's all over the internet now. But I want to ask the father - well why learn anything if AI has all the answers? Why go to school at all? Why not just teach kids how to ask AI all the questions they ever have?  :-\
I told my friends I could teach them to be funny, but they all just laughed at me.
 

Online brucehoult

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #55 on: March 24, 2024, 12:55:42 am »

Warned you. :horse:
But I'm still baffled by how fast this bullshit is spreading. Incredible.

Oh yea it's all over the internet now. But I want to ask the father - well why learn anything if AI has all the answers? Why go to school at all? Why not just teach kids how to ask AI all the questions they ever have?  :-\

"Asking the right questions" is the #1 part of all science, including computer science. And the part most people are too dim or blinkered to do.

This current LLM fad will be over soon enough.  There will be some things it's quite good at, just like PID control is quite good for some things (and much better than an on/off contact), but then attention will turn to the many things it can't do, and there will be fortunes to be made in that, whatever it is.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #56 on: March 24, 2024, 01:47:47 am »
"Asking the right questions" is the #1 part of all science, including computer science everything in life. And the part most people are too dim or blinkered to do.

FTFY :)

Frequently answers are easy, but determining the right question is far more difficult.

Some of the (relatively few) people I really respect have a knack of asking a simple obvious question, the answer to which illuminates whole swathes of the subject.

A classic one for software is "what is the definition of address or identity?".
For hardware "where are the clock domain boundaries?".
For distributed systems "what is the system behaviour when component X stops working?"
You get the idea :)
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #57 on: March 24, 2024, 04:39:49 am »
For distributed systems "what is the system behaviour when component X stops working?"
You get the idea :)

Ah yes, the Feynman approach ;)

I tease of course, but when one has the talent (or enough luck) to find the one exact valve in the piping system that no one else has accounted for; oh yeah. :D

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Bringing a project to life?  Send me a message!
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #58 on: March 24, 2024, 09:05:41 am »
For distributed systems "what is the system behaviour when component X stops working?"
You get the idea :)

Ah yes, the Feynman approach ;)

Yes indeed. I've been rumbled!

Quote
I tease of course, but when one has the talent (or enough luck) to find the one exact valve in the piping system that no one else has accounted for; oh yeah. :D

I did once have a relative whose car wouldn't start in my drive. After a little questioning, I asked them to open the bonnet while I fetched my hammer. They looked worried, and queried whether they should call a mechanic. Nah. Trust me.

I fetch my large 3lb mallet and approach the car while waving the mallet with a slighly wild grin on my face. I lightly tap the starter motor casing.

The engine starts first time, to their amazement.

Job done :)
« Last Edit: March 24, 2024, 09:17:11 am by tggzzz »
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Online brucehoult

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #59 on: March 24, 2024, 12:31:40 pm »
If there's plenty of power in the battery but it doesn't crank over even slightly ... I'd be doing the same thing.
 

Offline 50ShadesOfDirt

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #60 on: March 24, 2024, 02:21:49 pm »
+1 to the micro:bit ... it, plus the micro:bit makecode, is how I got my kids initially understanding programming. You use the PC with makecode, and graphically program simple things which are instantly running on the micro:bit, all tied by usb to the computer ... this is instant feedback (with flashing led's ... who doesn't like lots of these), as the micro:bit runs the program that they just wrote!

If they don't want to spend money, it's ok, as makecode simulates the micro:bit. No outlay ...

If they aren't opposed to spending a few measly bucks (micro:bits are dirt cheap), have the mom get one micro:bit v2 (the one with a bit more oomph to do small ai workloads), and point all of them (mom, kids) at the infinite resources out there for it, including the "teacher" section, where you can d/l full lesson material and teach "computer science" to the kids. Hopefully, it won't be long before each kid wants one.

Plus, for the interfering hubby, it (the v2 version) does AI! So, you can sell them on that aspect ... "the kids aren't programming, they are exploring AI".

Hope this helps ...
 

Offline xrunnerTopic starter

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #61 on: March 25, 2024, 12:51:33 am »
+1 to the micro:bit ... it, plus the micro:bit makecode, is how I got my kids initially understanding programming. You use the PC with makecode, and graphically program simple things which are instantly running on the micro:bit, all tied by usb to the computer ... this is instant feedback (with flashing led's ... who doesn't like lots of these), as the micro:bit runs the program that they just wrote!

If they don't want to spend money, it's ok, as makecode simulates the micro:bit. No outlay ...

I hadn't ever checked out that microbit but I did look at it today. It's a nice little platform for learning I do admit. I had planned on showing the kids the Arduino when they come over because I have made lots of projects with it. The current one I am working on is a parking assistant for the garage using the ultrasonic sensor HC-SR04. I have it working with a small display so I think it would be something they could see working and the display changing as it measures distance.

I have a whole box of Unos and Nanos so geez I'd give away anything to get them started. I'm fighting an uphill battle now if people start believing AI is going to solve all these problems. Who needs a teacher anymore?

   :(
I told my friends I could teach them to be funny, but they all just laughed at me.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #62 on: March 25, 2024, 01:06:19 am »
I have a whole box of Unos and Nanos so geez I'd give away anything to get them started. I'm fighting an uphill battle now if people start believing AI is going to solve all these problems. Who needs a teacher anymore?

It's a fad right now, and no one can predict the future, all I can say is the following: either the fad will pass, and people will keep learning, or it doesn't, and then most people won't be able to do anything without it and outside of what they can do with it. In which case, the few ones who will be able to will be in high demand.

Either way, unless of course someone has zero interest in that, learning is more important than ever. Just my 2 cents here.
 

Offline shabaz

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Re: Teaching coding to a 12 year old
« Reply #63 on: March 25, 2024, 01:12:24 am »
The micro:bit is quite an impressive platform, since even sub-10-year-olds can do things with it, and for the older kids they can switch to Python if desired.

If you're buying one, there's the more recent V2, with built-in audio.

Regarding importance of learning, it was interesting seeing at some (non-tech) conference near me last week, what was the most popular programming language! It wasn't Python or C++ etc. It was Excel formulas (not even VB). There were people running circa $1M businesses with it. Obviously slowing them down, and reducing productivity, because quite a few of them raised the problems they were experiencing, since all they can do is search around for ready-made software, SaaS, plugins, etc., they were so concerned with day-to-day that they had not considered the option of paying for software development, and wouldn't know what an API was anyway. It was pretty depressing seeing that. Just goes to show how empowering it can be to know some coding, no matter what career one is in.
 


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