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edshelf Weekly - Tools that Teach Computer Programming

edshelf:

Learning how to write a computer program is a lot like learning a new language. There are nouns, verbs, and sentences. With far fewer words than a spoken language, it may be easier too. A student of languages can pick it up just as quickly as a student of math. To help, here are a set of tools that teach computer programming.

  • KineScript - Using the same visual programming metaphor as MIT’s Scratch, this app helps students craft animated stories.
  • Kid’s Ruby - Targeted for kids, this free desktop app teaches the popular programming language Ruby.
  • ScriptKit - Build a simple mobile app using the drag-and-drop code editor of this iPad app.
  • CodeShare - Instead of a cumbersome screen-sharing app, use this free website to share the code you type in real-time.
  • Hopscotch - Also inspired by the visual design of MIT’s Scratch, this colorful iPad app introduces young students to programming.

Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.

  • Computer programming - Apps to teach everyone from children to adults how to program. Curated by adult learning facilitator Anne Sturgess.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

Want a fresh copy of the edshelf Weekly newsletter in your inbox too? Sign up with edshelf today!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf

thisistheverge shares:

Wolfram announces ‘most important’ project: a programming language that models the world
The power of Wolfram Alpha — the intelligent search engine that can answer natural language questions and solve complex math problems — is being built into an upcoming programming language that its founder, Stephen Wolfram, says will be incredibly easy to use. The language, Wolfram writes, is “a way to go from an idea to a fully deployed realization in an absurdly short time.” It’s called Wolfram Language, and it’s an evolution of what’s been used inside of his company Wolfram’s popular Mathematica software for over 25 years now. 
High-res

thisistheverge shares:

Wolfram announces ‘most important’ project: a programming language that models the world

The power of Wolfram Alpha — the intelligent search engine that can answer natural language questions and solve complex math problems — is being built into an upcoming programming language that its founder, Stephen Wolfram, says will be incredibly easy to use. The language, Wolfram writes, is “a way to go from an idea to a fully deployed realization in an absurdly short time.” It’s called Wolfram Language, and it’s an evolution of what’s been used inside of his company Wolfram’s popular Mathematica software for over 25 years now. 

Class of 2013: Learn To Write Code, Sure. But Really, Learn to Write.

Why Programming Teaches So Much More Than Technical Skills

“There’s no specific place you can plan on going because there are so many different things you can do with programming,” Blazes told an audience during a panel discussion at The Atlantic magazine’s Technologies in Education Forum earlier this month. “You can do pretty much anything with it that you can program.”
That’s because computer programming is a study of languages more than of technology or mechanics. And command of those languages allows programmers to control the functionality of anything that is driven by a computer.
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Why Programming Teaches So Much More Than Technical Skills

“There’s no specific place you can plan on going because there are so many different things you can do with programming,” Blazes told an audience during a panel discussion at The Atlantic magazine’s Technologies in Education Forum earlier this month. “You can do pretty much anything with it that you can program.”

That’s because computer programming is a study of languages more than of technology or mechanics. And command of those languages allows programmers to control the functionality of anything that is driven by a computer.

Today is International Women’s Day, and as one of our contributions to the celebration, we’re proud to support Voices Global Conference, presented by Global Tech Women. As part of this 24-hour live streamed event, Google will provide more than a dozen hours of free talks featuring women working in computer science, beginning today. To access the full schedule and our ongoing broadcasts, see our section on the Voices website, which will be updated throughout the day.

The Voices Global Conference is the brainchild of Global Tech Women’s founder Deanna Kosaraju, who also started India’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 2010 with grant support from Google.

Hi Gwen, Love your Tumblr. Is it easy to make the slideshow? I would like to have that for my tumbler, but I have no knowledge of HTML (or very limited). I understand if you don't have time to answer this. Also, what template are you using? Your page is beautiful and full of insights. Thanks for creating it! Pilar Munday

Asked by aprendeconfotos

image

Wow, thank you so much Pilar! I really like the idea of your tumblr too - pictures to help practice Español! The slideshow would let your viewers practice much easier - glad you asked.

You can add a slideshow to your tumblr pretty easily - here are the instructions (if you run into trouble, message me):

  1. View the source code of that slideshow and copy it. It’ll work as-is for any Tumblr without any changes.

    <!-- Fullscreen Tumblr Image Viewer v0.3 by topherchris -->
    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
    <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
    	<head>
    		<title></title>
    		<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
    		<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://fllscrn.com/css/supersized.css" type="text/css" media="screen" />
    		<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://fllscrn.com/theme/supersized.beta.css" type="text/css" media="screen" />
    		<script type="text/javascript" src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
    		<script type="text/javascript" src="http://fllscrn.com/js/jquery.easing.min.js"></script>
    		<script type="text/javascript" src="http://fllscrn.com/js/supersized.3.2.7.min.js"></script>
    		<script type="text/javascript" src="http://fllscrn.com/theme/supersized.beta.js"></script>
    		<script type="text/javascript" src="http://static.tumblr.com/sajzoro/Wfzloggrk/tumblr-query.js"></script>
    		<script type="text/javascript">
    		var slides = [];
    		TumblrQuery.query(
    			'http://api.tumblr.com/v2/blog/?/posts/photo',
    			{
    				limit: 30,
    				api_key: 'QzBFicp9EaPWrCzepyISnrKRgE7b85PCwAWwhoi54LgndsUAob',
    				onSuccess: function(transport) {
    					document.title = transport.response.blog.title;
    					for (i in transport.response.posts) {
    						var post = transport.response.posts[i];
    						for (i in post.photos) {
    							var imageurl = post.photos[i].alt_sizes[0].url;
    						}
    						var posturl = post.post_url;
    						var avatar = "<div id=\"avatar\"><a href=\"http://" + post.blog_name + ".tumblr.com/\"><img src=\"http://api.tumblr.com/v2/blog/" + post.blog_name + ".tumblr.com/avatar/64\" /></a></div>";
    						var framesrc = "http://assets.tumblr.com/iframe.html?10&src=" + encodeURIComponent(posturl) + "&amp;pid=" + post.id + "&amp;rk=" + post.reblog_key + "&amp;lang=en_US&amp;name=" + post.blog_name;
    						var iframe = "<iframe src=\"" + framesrc + "\" scrolling=\"no\" width=\"330\" height=\"25\" frameborder=\"0\" style=\"position:absolute; z-index:1337; top:0px; right:0px; border:0px; background-color:transparent; overflow:hidden;\" id=\"tumblr_controls\"></iframe>";
    						var layer = avatar + iframe;
    						slides.push({
    							image: imageurl,
    							url: posturl,
    							layer: layer
    						});
    					}
    				},
    				onFailure: function() {
    					alert('Something went wrong. I\'m so very sorry.');
    				},
    				onComplete: function() {
    					$.supersized({slides: slides});
    				}
    			}
    		);
    		</script>
    	<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src="http://assets.tumblr.com/javascript/tumblelog.js?2f72e5d41a88380020b3737681107236"></script><meta http-equiv="x-dns-prefetch-control" content="off"/></head>
    <body>
    	<div id="page"></div>
    	<a id="prevslide" class="load-item"></a>
    	<a id="nextslide" class="load-item"></a>
    </body>
    </html>
  2. Head to the Customize Theme area and add a new page.

  3. Select Custom Layout, give it a url, decide if you want to display a link (if your theme supports it), and…

  4. Paste the source code in the form and enjoy.

I’m using the Swell template by Style Hatch, but I’d recommend any of their templates. They’re nice looking, easy to customize, and their support is helpful and friendly. ¡Buena suerte!

For the students in this computer-lab-turned-mini-software-company, who spend the entire course working individually or with partners developing a game that teaches an educational concept of their choosing, there’s the critical thinking needed to understand and communicate to players what exactly is toughest to teach about a subject. There are also the transferable skills of proposal writing, storyboarding, AdobeScript software coding, informational blogging, and presentation of progress reports, as students follow a development plan similar to those in the commercial gaming industry through tools available through their account on Globaloria's wiki site.