Stop! Take 10 seconds to consider a world where computer programs did not exist. In this world of “no computer programs,” the following is true:
- The internet does not exist.
- Facebook does not exist.
- You would not be reading this blog article.
- Your phone would just make phone calls… Oh… phones won’t work either.
- No angry birds. 🙁
5 reasons to love Khan academy for computer science
- It’s like LOGO on steroids: Teaching programming with pictures is a great idea. When I started to learn about computers in elementary school, the popular game based learning experiences included “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiago”, “Oregon trail” and “Number munchers.” At this period in technology, the Apple II was bleeding edge technology. We loved our 8-bit graphics! I was one of those weird kids who enjoyed the idea of drawing with a computer. We used a small computer programming language called LOGO to create small pictures. In researching this blog post, it appears that LOGO has been ported to the web browser. Cool!!!
- Instant feedback: As I teach my kids about technology, I have observed that they react to instant feedback. I believe one of the killer features of Khan Academy CS is that you can make edits to programs and instantly see the impact of the change in a picture.
- Math is yummy when paired with programming: I remember learning about 2D coordinate systems on graph paper. This technology can help math teachers introduce this idea with programming. The introduction to drawing tutorial teaches the idea of drawing using simple shapes using coordinate systems.
- It teaches basic programming, games, and more: As a student of computer science, I am amazed at the scope of learning that’s possible through this site. Introducing basic concepts like variables, loops, calculations and statements can be challenging concepts to teach. The site teaches very robust topics beyond this scope including game programming, fractals, and game of life.
What are other tools and games that help teach computer science and math?
Picture taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/imcomkorea/3949119219/