Sunday, January 4, 2015

Day 4: Learning to Code Anywhere Anytime with Lightbot

Several years ago I asked a group of students to guess the percentage of girls enrolled in computer science courses.  With each guess I would call back "Lower" until they finally guessed less than 20%.  When I showed a graph  of the number of girls enrolled in computer science classes and asked them "Why do you think this is?", several possibilities were offered.  One suggestion caught me by surprise.

 "Girls are busy!". 

I'm thinking that this referred to girls being involved in LOTS of different types of activities and not wanting to sit around on a computer all day. 

But one type of computer that most girls don't mind interacting with for most of the day is their mobile phone or a mobile tablet.   If you are a girl who is lucky enough to have access to a mobile phone or tablet,  I would suggest adding some fun apps to help you learn to code.   There are a few different apps that can do this that I will share this year,  but I would suggest starting off with LIGHTBOT. 

Lightbot works on both Android and iOS and on both phones and tablets.  It offers a series of puzzles that you can solve that are designed to help you think like a computer programmer.  In each puzzle you write a computer program using drag and drop graphics to program a little robot to light up each blue tile on a grid.   And kudo's to Lightbot for creating a boybot and a girlbot for you to chose from.  (A simple thing, but one that gives the message that this puzzle was designed with both girls and boys in mind) 

 Next time you've got a bit of down time,  why not try to move up a level in Lightbot and grow your understanding of computer science. 

The Hour of Code LightBot Appoffers a quick introduction to Lightbot.

The Lightbot Jr App starts off easy girls as young as 4-8 can use it, but the skills needed to solve the puzzles as you move through the 42 levels quickly move beyond that age level.  

Finally  the Lightbot Programming Puzzles  App has over 50 levels of puzzles that will get you thinking like a computer programmer in ways that might challenge even a profession programmer.

Give it a try and grow your skills. 

No comments:

Post a Comment