Now that Jayda is totally into computer programming and wants to learn how to build video games and apps, it is my job as mother, teacher, after-school coordinator and guidance counselor to get her plugged in with other like-minded people!
One of the ways that I have done this is by researching hackathons in our area. Now before you get all worked up over the word hackathon--let me first explain what a hackathon is. Google has the following definition:
So no, this is not a gathering of kids learning how to break into other people's computers--although I have met people there who know how to do that! There are usually hackathons for professionals and separate ones for middle and high school students. If your child is in middle school you can usually get permission for them to attend a hackathon for older people but make sure they are mature enough to handle the environment and plan on chaperoning.
Recently Jayda and I attended Hip Hop Hacks (http://hiphophacks.org ) held at Spotify. The format was different from other hackathons in that it included speakers from the music industry and attracted a variety of people from the music and tech world. I loved how we were challenged to connect our love for music and tech together, in order to create something useful for the world.
There were great workshops to attend and lots of cool people to meet. I would encourage anyone interested in getting exposed to the tech world to attend a hackathon--they are happening everywhere!
Here are a few sites to get you started:
Check out the Hip Hop Hackathon photo album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskxKoih5
Our kids are totally into computer programming. After getting introduced to Scratch which is a programming language developed by MIT, my kids were hooked. Scratch in particular is a great way to introduce kids to the concepts of programming with their easy to use block coding method.
“With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.” Scratch Website
Here are some of the things my kids have developed:
Scratch is so easy and yet schools like Harvard are using it as an introduction to their Computer Science program. If Harvard is using it--you definitely want to consider adding it to your homeschool or after school activity for your kids!
It’s free and easy to get started, just visit: https://scratch.mit.edu/