Computational Doing for the Young

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Let's learn to make your favorite things!

I like code... DNA code to computer code to codes of codes.  Let's explore together!

 

First they said kids were the future, then they said computers.  I say it's Both - Kids with Computers!

No future career will be left unaffected by computers.  Almost every child will be exposed to smartphones and computers.   The tech have and have not gap has never been larger in terms of understanding how computers actually work and how to program them for your benefit.

Computational Doing for the Young helps young people from age 9 to 99 come up to speed on the basics of how computers work, how to make them do things you want and how to program software and apps.   The focus is on becoming computational literate and being able to confidently conceive of computer apps and start to build them.  In 5 weeks a student will learn the basics of computing and get all the way through to building their own application with pride.

Syllabus

Week 1:  What is a Computer and How Do I Make it Do Stuff?

Let's just dive right in and learn about getting a computer to do some simple stuff.  We'll program a very simple app and learn about some other cool ways to get computers to do stuff.

Week 2: The Basics of Programming and Programming Languages

Programming languages aren't really that hard to learn once you understand a little bit more about who made them and why they made them.   We will continue to program this week and start to think a little bit harder about how to communicate with a computer.

Week 3:  Bugs and Getting Over The Hump

One of the hardest things about making computers do stuff is understanding when things go wrong and why... and not to get upset at why computers seem so fragile.   In turns out that bugs are the BEST way to learn how to work computers and learn to program them.

Week 4: User Interfaces, Events and Other Super Fancy Topics

This is the week you become a computer scientist and learn all the big professional stuff.   Ha!  Actually there isn't that much to computer program when you get down to it.  We'll learn the key ingredients and get confident applying them over and over.

Week 5: Try To Finish or Knowing When to Stop

Like anything interesting in life... it's never clear when the end has come.  You could make a program go on forever... or endlessly find bugs.  But at some point you have to decide to stop and SHIP.

Skills Obtained

  • Use modern programming languages to get work done (python, javascript, ruby, WolframLang and others)
  • Understand the components of a computer (memory, CPU, human device interfaces, compiler, interpreter, User Interface and more)
  • Design, Build and Deploy an app to the web
  • Learn the very beginning of smartphone and tablet apps
  • Get confident in experimenting with a computer
  • Learn a little math and logic
  • Understand constructs like Loops, Timing, Conditionals, Variables, Objects, Events, Interrupts, Errors, Stack Traces
  • Understand how to use the web to improve your programming

Workload

In class discussion and working sessions, demonstrations and short lectures.

1-2hrs of homework a week leading towards a final project that may take 3-4 hrs.

Grades and Credit

This is all for life development but I'm happy to give recommendations or nice notes etc.

Dates/Times for Summer 2018

Every Tuesday from 7-8pm pacific time starting June 19th.   ends July 10th.

Meets in person and online through ZOOM Conferences. 

In person will take place in Venice, CA. 

Enrollment

In person enrollment limited to 10, online enrollment unlimited.

Cost

$125 for entire 5 weeks