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  1. Ok I'll start this off with my husband showed me this cute robot from www.anki.com that is a mix between Wall-E and Eve. It had creative input from a Wall-E animator so no wonder why. It has moods, facial recognition, roams around, plays games, sounds like wall-e and picks up cubes. It has some pre-programmed actions, but it is customizable with python web code. My husband is a website coder as his job, but he doesn't know python. He is planning to learn it just to see what he can do with it. He also said it looked simple enough(says the website coder). My kids are too young to start programming, but he's thinking about buying two so they have one to program themselves. It's designed for ages 8+. It connects to a phone with Wi-Fi to connect with a computer, if you want to program it. It is set to be in stores in Oct '16, but the presale saves about $20 per Cozmo under market price ($160 rather than $180). The site says a later SDK release will include kid friendly programming. other recent robots to check out: Vortex- uses games to teach kids code, uses Bluetooth to connect with mobile or tablet ($69) Ringo- Arduino powered bug ($100) Meccanoid- buildable robot recommended for age 10+, programmable movements by recording how you move robot, using the camera to record your movements, or through an app on phone or tablet ($90-$210, 2 or 4 ft tall) Buddy- marketed as companion robot, connects to smart devices, does house patrol when house is empty, can teach you to program it ($700) JD humanoid- walks, dances, stands from sitting, vision recognition, controlled through mobile app ($430)
  2. Our math club director just sent out an invite to register for Areteem classes this summer. It looks like they offer camps and online courses, and are affiliated with universities like Georgetown University. Reputedly, they help students learn skills to prepare for contests like USA Computing Olympiad. Three of their alumni made of half of the U.S.A. team which won the 2015 International Mathematics Olympiad. Just leafing through their offerings, I was pretty impressed. They offer courses like: Discrete Math, Intro to Algorithms, Python Programming, AP Physics and Physics Olympiad, Math Challenge, etc. Has anyone taken their offerings? I'd be interested in hearing your opinions of their online courses and summer camps. Could this be a good accompaniment to AOPS, perhaps?
  3. I went through Super Scratch Programming Adventure last year with my DDSs. We all loved it, and they now enjoy playing around on Scratch and creating their own "programs." I thought the book was a great introduction to Scratch and programming. I'd like to continue to use Scratch next school year with my kiddos and am looking for the next step after Super Scratch that would still be age appropriate for them (6 and 8). Anyone know of any other Scratch books or programming guides that younger children could follow?
  4. Hi All, I am wondering what others are planning to take or have taken? If your dc took a course, what were some of the pros/cons? I know this is a reoccurring theme. But it is also one which changes quite a bit based on new offerings. I have a somewhat flexible plan for ds13 this Fall as I consider a few different online programming/CS courses. One of the courses on my short list from UC Berkeley is new. I don't think its been offered before as a MOOC. I really like the sounds of the Berkeley course the more I read about it. So i'm leaning slightly in that direction. Here both which I'm strongly considering for Fall: Berkeley's Preparing for the AP* Computer Science A Exam — Level Up! Amplify AP Computer Science - Fall My educational goal for ds13 is focused more on learning good programming skills rather than practicing for the AP test. We may not even take that test. So I'm not sure I want to dedicate that much time on test prep. Though, I'm not opposed to studying CS principles. So I am still open to other suggestions/options. Ds13 is also taking another shorter programming course this Summer which he enjoys so far. The course is: Beginning Programming on Android using Java So far, I like the teaching method in making learning fun while working on an Android game. The only negative I can think of is that the Android development setup instructions are somewhat sparse. So I had to help him more in the beginning to get things up and running. But now that everything is configured, he finds it fairly straightforward to move through the lessons independently. Another great free course we started a few weeks before the Android course began is through Udemy. Its very flexible in that you can start at any time and go at your own pace: Java Tutorial for Complete Beginners We both like this Udemy MOOC a lot. So, between these two beginner courses this Summer, I am now starting to wonder if the AP CS Courses may be too easy or too repetitive for him over the span of two semesters. I actually downloaded the syllabus from the Amplify course and it looks very similar to what he is already doing - basic programming logic stuff (strings, loops, arrays, etc...). The only addition I can see is the AP Exam Prep. Though there may be more 'depth' in the course once started. They are definitely longer than the other ones he is working on now.
  5. I've got a huge mind block when it comes to recursion. I like to trace my programs, but I just get stuck and confused. I trace the results of a recursively called function, and I forget where I came from. If that makes any sense. What am I missing? I want to see the light! Help me see the light. And anyone who says, "To understand recursion you must understand recursion." is asking for it.
  6. Hi, This looks very intriguing with quite a variety of technologies explored for an intro course. I was wondering if anyone has given it a try? https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-computer-science-harvardx-cs50x#!
  7. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. My husband and I have come to the conclusion that programming is a non-negotiable skill in our homeschool. As I've thought about the benefits of it, it seems like many of them overlap with those benefits that traditionally describe Latin. For years I've waffled on whether Latin is important or not and I just haven't been convinced of its usefulness. Most of the benefits described can be obtained by other language study and logic as far as I can tell. It seems to me that the modern, but useful, equivalent of Latin is programming. It is a universal language and it teaches logic. It also helps you understand a large part of your world that many don't understand. So while I am probably not giving the best arguments for each side, I thought I would see if anyone wants to discuss this idea. Is computer programming a legitimate substitute for Latin in a modern neoclassical-inspired homeschool?
  8. Dd knows a fair amount of Python, but is no expert. How big of a leap is it to learn objective C with the "objective" (ha, ha) of developing an iphone app? (We don't own any Apple computers at home, so we want to scope out this project before investing in a new computer that we really don't need...except for producing iphone apps.)
  9. For anyone interested. "This course is designed to help students with very little or no computing background learn the basics of building simple interactive applications. Our language of choice, Python, is an easy-to learn, high-level computer language that is used in many of the computational courses offered on Coursera. To make learning Python easy, we have developed a new browser-based programming environment that makes developing interactive applications in Python simple. These applications will involve windows whose contents are graphical and respond to buttons, the keyboard and the mouse. The primary method for learning the course material will be to work through multiple "mini-projects" in Python. ... Our course syllabus can be seen at www.codeskulptor.org/coursera/syllabus.html." (Link) ETA: Course website https://www.coursera.org/course/interactivepython ETA: Web based Python document link http://www.codeskulptor.org/docs.html
  10. Grok Learning posted on my blog about this challenge, after looking into it I have signed my two older boys up ( 11 and 14), I thought I would post here in case anyone is intrested: The NCSS Challenge is an online programming competition that runs for 5 weeks from Monday the 5th of August, 2013. Unlike other competitions, we don't expect students to know how to program in advance, but teach them to program as they compete. Each week, a set of notes for self-directed learning is released, along with a set of challenge questions testing this material. The questions range in difficulty to allow beginners to progress at their own rate while still extending gifted students. The challenges increase in complexity as more and more programming concepts are covered over the 5 weeks. There are 3 streams offered: Beginners, designed for students with no programming experience; Intermediate, for students with some programming experience; and Advanced, designed to stretch and challenge the best students. In 2012, over 4200 students across Australia and New Zealand participated in the Challenge, solving problems from cryptography to computational linguistics, generating Twitter poetry to estimating the speed of light using marshmallows and a microwave. Participants submit their solutions to our web-based intelligent auto-marking system which is designed to lead the student through solving the problem. Students can get help from university tutors using the message system or asking a question on the moderated forums. As well as a place to get hints on solving questions, for the 5 weeks of the Challenge the 'General Discussion' forums are abuzz with passionate discussion on topics from computer games to designing efficient algorithms. Enrolment in a Challenge stream costs $AU20, and is open to all students worldwide. An annual subscription to all Grok Learning content, including all three streams of the NCSS Challenge, costs $AU30 (school discount rate, including Homeschool students). For more information, see groklearning.com/challenge or email challenge@ncss.edu.au
  11. As homeschoolers, we can be isolated from what others are doing technologically. We're so busy teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, while mummifying chickens, we may be unaware what our children's peers are doing technologically. If the school system fails our children to be technologically ready for college and life, that is one thing. If we as parents who choose to homeschool fail our children (due to lack of guidance), that is another. Does anyone have a "Pathway to Computer Competency" that they have used or plan to use? I'm really out of my depth for some of this. When I was in high school, they were teaching us Fortran and Basic. Please quit snickering at my age and my (lack of recent) experience. :laugh: My goal is that my daughters will not need to learn technology required for a class WHILE being in class. I have BTDT before. NOT fun. Some things I would like my daughters to learn (in no specific order): --surfing the web, --typing --Word --Powerpoint --Cutting and Pasting --Facebook --Web site design (on Blogger or comparable site) --Basic programming --Powerpoint --Excel --adding components to a CPU (extra memory, new video card) --exposure to any other programs that are used in college classes (of a specific major: for example, scientists use "EndNote."). --Blender? --alternative operating systems Thank you sincerely for any replies!
  12. http://www.imaginecup.com/IC13/Competition/Kodu#?fbid=eTx68Vs-4V_ "The Kodu Challenge runs from March 19 through May 17, 2013, and invites students in two age brackets (9-12 and 13-18) to design games on the Kodu platform. For this challenge, students will explore the relationships between water and people through the medium of Kodu video games. .... . While acquiring valuable skills such as critical thinking, storytelling and programming, students in both age brackets will compete for first-place prizes of US$3,000, second-place prizes of US$2,000, and third-place prizes of US$1,000. ,,,,,, There will be additional Kodu-focused Imagine Cup challenges by Microsoft launching in June and October so you, your friends, or your school will have more chances to dream, build, and win!"
  13. Heard an interview with the author of this book today (Lauren Ipsum by Carlos Bueno) and thought it might be a good intro to logic / computer programming concepts for dd8. (listen to the interview on CBC radio here- click on Download the MP3 for the whole show or this link for just the clip) Does anybody have any experience with this? I thought it might be somewhat analagous to the Life of Fred books for math, at least from his description of the storyline. Am I way off-base? Is this really helpful for a kid who's never programmed before?
  14. We are considering the following curriculum - if you have experience with either one (or both) we'd appreciate any feedback. I have it narrowed down to two: 1. Beginning Microsoft Small Basic + Programming Kid Games with Microsoft Small Basic, by Computer Science for Kids (http://computerscienceforkids.com) 2. KidCoder by Homeschool Programming (http://www.homeschoolprogramming.com) I want something that is fun but also lays a strong foundation for logical thinking. Blessings, Angela
  15. A few months ago, I asked for help with finding a computer programing course for our children (ages 15 and 12). Since I have a pathetic amount of knowledge about the subject, I was quickly overwhelmed. I just spent 2 hours looking over the notes I took and looking up old threads, and I am more confused than before. If you are a few minutes and/or have an opinion, I would love some more input. Each of our children have their own PC laptop and they are excited about learning computer programing, but I just don't know where to start. I don't even know enough about the subject to set a goal of what I want them to learn. :sad: Thanks!
  16. For Javascript~http://codeyear.com/ Dh had my 11 year old doing it and its really easy to follow. I might do some of this too.
  17. from Colleen in NS's son: I was wondering if anybody here knows of any computer programming courses for C, C++, Python, Visual Basic, or Visual C#? I am looking for an exercises-type setting that teaches a concept and then gives exercises on it.
  18. http://www.google.com/edu/computational-thinking/lessons.html Exploring Computational Thinking Maybe the resources at the site above (from Google) will be helpful in teaching programming, arithmetic, and algebra. I have not tried them yet. The programming language used, Python, is free.
  19. I would love to see your dc's projects. My dds are hooked on Scratch. Thank you to all who recommended it here. Also, please share your favorite youtube Scratch tutorials. Thanks in advance for any tips & tricks! ETA: I found LearnScratch and it looks fantastic!
  20. Ds, 9, recently decided that he wanted to experiment with making his own video game. I've found a site or two online that are free (not necessarily a requirement, but we do need low-cost - $30 or less) but they are kind of hard for him to use (even though they are supposedly designed for children). I think part of the problem is that he needs to know more about computers. So I'm turning to the Hive for ideas on two resources: 1) Good books (or web sites) that teach a kid about computers & maybe some basic programming 2) Any good web sites for kids who want to experiment with creating video games Thanks!
  21. from Colleen in NS's son: I was wondering if anybody here knows of any computer programming courses for C, C++, Python, Visual Basic, or Visual C#? I am looking for an exercises-type setting that teaches a concept and then gives exercises on it.
  22. I got my CBD catalog and there is something called KidCoder: Windows Programming. Has anyone tried it? Or anyone have other suggestions? I'm clueless. My dh knows a bit more but is busy bringing home the bacon. Any words of wisdom are appreciated!
  23. In the regular Lego catalog, there is a basic NXT set that sells for $279 and comes with software and sixteen projects and four robot plans. In the Lego Education catalog there's this kit that looks the same and is the same price, plus, there's a "Software Sold Separately" note with a link to this. Is the software just more tutorials and projects? Are these kits the same? Should I add the software for my almost ten-year-old? Or do I want the homeschool kit? And is that not just the software plus the base kit?
  24. My boys (rising 9th graders) are considering this class for next year. It is being taught by Mr. Connor. The website indicates that the target grades are 9 - 12, and that there are no prerequisites. Any experience / feedback? Thanks in advance!
  25. Does anyone know of a computer programming curriculum for homeschooling? My ds loves computers and I think he would be good at this. I want to make sure it’s not too difficult nor too easy. I’ve heard of Alice, which uses a drag and drop icon method, but it’s not really programming. I know my ds wouldn’t have the discipline to follow a book on his own, so I’m hoping there is some sort of curriculum out there.
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