Programming (a.k.a. Coding) Resources for Kids

Summer is a perfect time for kids to explore and learn more about basic programming, and it’s possible to do it with game-like fun and style. Weeks-long computer camps or classes are not necessary — they can come later.

Watch Mitchel Resnick, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, deliver a TED Lecture about why coding is important for kids.

scratch image


The truth is, we all need to learn more about digital world building blocks, even if it’s just an itsy-bitsy amount of knowledge about how coding works. Some kids are drawn to programming like magnets. However, many children, girls especially, first get interested in coding when parents or friends initiate the connections and encourage exploration  (and it’s great for kids to see parents ponder or even struggle as they learn new things).

It’s less important to master all sorts of programming minutiae and more important  to help your child learn just how easy it is to create and invent. People code in order to create and invent things — that’s the understanding you want to help your child understand.

Continue reading

Class-on-a-Blog- Marti’s Update – May 28, 2013

Dear Class-on-a-Blog Participants,

I am posting this temporary message to let you know that I’ve been out of commission recovering these past two weeks after eye surgery for a detached retina (so until now my computer time has been limited).

More lessons are forthcoming, but I wanted to let you know why we’ve had a bit of a slowdown.

I’ll delete this post after I am sure a good number of you have viewed it.

Stay tuned.



Presentations Without the Aggravation of Transferring Files

presentations at discovery

Check out these presentation tools at

Just about everyone has a presentation disaster experience at one time or another.

A child, or maybe an adult, prepares a great PowerPoint presentation, takes it to school or to the office, and then, for some reason, it doesn’t work, and we are never quite sure just why. Problem possibilities include the size of the file, the number and size of graphics, the way it attaches to e-mail, or perhaps the way a file copies onto a CD or flash drive. Operating system platforms used to be one of the big problems, but they are less so today.

Presenters can lessen potential problems by exploring several web-based tools that refine the whole process — writing, developing, and presenting. Because these new sites put presentations on a website, a document lives in the cloud and can be worked on or used almost anywhere. At Web 2.0 presentation sites a user simply signs in, creates a presentation, works steadily, saves, and accesses it again and again to continue working and begin presenting — on any computer connected to the web. Continue reading