Monday, September 12, 2011

Don't be afraid of a little Programming

So, you're a beginning developer...or maybe you've never written a line of code in your entire life.  Don't fear! Learn.  MSDN (MicroSoft Developer Network) has a free resource portal for you and your students to explore and learn programming.  Their premiere, student-learning development software (it's Free) is called SMALL BASIC and comes with tons of lesson plans and out-of-the-box programming that will get your students to write their own games in little to no time.  I remember taking a group of 15 girls from our school site to DigiGirlz at Microsoft Los Angeles and, while none of them had a lick of programming experience, were able to bust out with a game created from scratch in less than 2 hours.

Too much to learn you say?  Here are the benefits of learning and teaching programming to your students.

  • Logical Statements: Nothing teaches logical statements better than programming.  Students are required to think ahead and anticipate what the program will actually do for it to work. If, and, then statements, loops, etc will get their brain jogging!
  • Troubleshooting and Cause/Effect: Students must meticulously understand their coding language as they learn to debug code that they originally thought would work. 
  • Fun and Creative: There's no better driving force for intrinsic motivation that good work that provides instant feedback, programming does this.
  • Exposure to a career that will only explode! Without an exposure to programming languages students will not have access to or be aware of career paths that are quickly becoming the hottest and most in-demand jobs today and tomorrow.  
Check it out here!!

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