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After my experience with RailsGirls I started to google who was this girl, Linda Liukas, that got a such great idea. I ended up on the websiteHelloRuby.com, which was created by Linda as well. This project is made to teach kids computational thinking using storytelling and games. Somebody can say, c’mon, children now are soooo clever. Two years old kid knows how to turn on the laptop! But do they know what is inside, how everything works? Honestly, I have colleagues who can press buttons in ERP system pretty well, but they have no idea what is behind. HelloRuby is a cool way to teach kids the basic concept of programming (btw some adults need it for sure as well!) and maybe prepare them for our fully digitized future.

But don’t be mixed up, Linda doesn’t try to teach kids Ruby language. Ruby is the name of “small girl with huge imagination”. She has friends: penguins, robots, foxes, leopard and boy Django with pet snake Phyton. The story and games help kids to understand fundamentals of programming: algorithms, pattern recognitions, problem debug, and decomposition. For example, Ruby chooses what to wear, using if.. else function. If it is rain, then I will wear rubber shoes, else sneakers. I like how Linda explains the basic concept of coding through really simple and fun games. Most of the tasks can be done by 4–5 years old kids. Each chapter of the book has set of exercises to play. There is also a toolbox for parents and teachers that are linked to the discussed topic. Additionally on a website you can find some short lessons and guidelines. Actually, you can start to play with your kids right away!

from helloruby.com

There are more ways to teach children basics of computer science by playing. Just have got a message that other brilliant idea Cubetto has raised enough money for the project. Cubetto is coding toy for kids made of wood. Other cool Kickstarter project — DIY computer Kano. For older kids MIT created special language Scratch to easily create animation and games. As official website said ‘Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century‘

While Austrian government is thinking if it makes sense to include coding in the primary school program, let’s start to teach our kids by ourselves. Mutterschiff are preparing several workshops for kids. Stay tuned!

FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2007783259455918

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