Scratch is a great coding platform, so I imagine ScratchJr is fantastic too. Love to get my greedy little hands on the Sphero SPRK+.
Our picks highlight leading tech trends, with an eye toward the future. READ: Top 10 Tech | 2016 | School Library Journal
CodeMade is a user-generated collection of (mostly) physical computing products, complete with links to their source code. Projects are grouped by category, and range from basic Arduino projects that anyone can grasp, to more sophisticated ones that use artificial intelligence and deep learning. This makes it trivially easy for a beginner to find a cool project and start building.These projects are sourced from a variety of sources (GitHub, Instructables, Make Magazine, LifeHacker), and are aggregated into collections. I suppose you can think of it as being a bit like Pinterest, but for nerds. READ MORE: CodeMade.io is a place to find open-source Internet of Things Inspiration | The Next Web
WHEN HIS DAUGHTERS were young, Nader Hamda says, they were really into apps and computers. But now that they’re a little older, their interest is waning. And that’s not unusual. “They’re not an exception,” he says. “They’re more of a rule.”
Sadly, this is true. According to numerous studies, young girls are moving away from computer science, not towards it. And Hamda says this is why his company, Ozobot, is now offering an educational robot called Evo. Evo is small and spherical, only about an inch in diameter. It looks kinda like an IBM Selectric type ball. But it’s also designed to be social.
READ MORE: Evo Is a Little Robot With a Big Mission: Get Girls to Code | WIRED
Researchers find software repository GitHub approved code written by women at a higher rate than code written by men, but only if the gender was not disclosed… READ MORE: Women considered better coders – but only if they hide their gender | Technology | The Guardian
A robotics company that teaches kids how to code, Codie Labs, took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt London to show off their fast, rolling and programmable robot, Codie, which is controlled via a mobile application for iOS or Android. The Budapest-based startup earned the opportunity to present on the big stage by winning the Wild Card position, which pulls a promising company out of Disrupt’s Startup Alley. READ MORE: Codie Is A Fast, Rolling Robot Toy That Teaches Kids Progamming Concepts | TechCrunch
Image Credit: Microsoft
The new Minecraft module is part of Code.org’s third annual Hour of Code, a worldwide campaign that tries to demystify code by teaching the basics of computer science in just an hour. The Hour of Code takes place during Computer Science Education Week from December 7 – 13.
If users sign up for the free Hour of Code Minecraft module, they’ll learn how to use blocks of code to make Steve or Alex, the two main character skins from the game, adventure through a Minecraft world. Other modules, including some based on Star Wars, “Frozen” and other popular content, are also available on the Code.org site. READ MORE: Microsoft and Code.org want to teach kids to code with Minecraft | CNET
French startup CodinGame just raised $1.6 million from Isai for its innovative code learning platform. As the name suggests, CodinGame is all about games — not game development, not gamification, just plain games. The logic behind each exercise is tied to an actual game so that you get visual feedback and an actual reward when you solve an exercise.
“This is not just a gimmick as we have metrics to back our vision. If you mix games with learning, you get a very motivating experience,” co-founder and CEO Frédéric Desmoulins told me. “Playing and learning at the same time is a virtuous circle.”
For each exercise, you can pick a programming language among more than 20, such as Python, Ruby, Java, Scala and more. The company targets people who already know the basics when it comes to programming and also has tough challenges for expert developers. In particular, a multiplayer mode is getting quite popular among developers. In this mode, you learn the basics of artificial intelligence and clash with others to see if your code is more efficient.
Source: With CodinGame, Learning To Code Becomes A Game | TechCrunch
CODEGIRL: Free to Watch on YouTube until November 5, 2015
Now playing on YouTube: a new documentary that tells the story of teenage girls who use computer code to solve problems. The film “Codegirl” is hitting YouTube before it gets to theaters and video on demand, and in that initial window you won’t have to pay to watch it. “Codegirl” follows high-school-age girls from around the world who enter a competition to try to better their communities through app design. READ MORE: ‘Codegirl’ documentary to hit YouTube before theaters, at no charge | CNET
On one page, you’ll see an illustration of kid scientists assembling multi-eyed orange creatures. On another, an amicable blue furry creature leads a march of kids and an alien. At first glance, these look like pages from a normal children’s fantasy book. Look again and you’ll realize these are all characters on a journey decorated with HTML tags. The Wonderful World of Creatures & Code (WWoCC) is an A-Z style book with the purpose of introducing kids to code. But it’s not available for purchase just yet. It’s currently on Kickstarter until Oct. 31 with a goal of $25,000. READ MORE: Colorful children’s book introduces kids to the basics of code | Mashable
BERLIN — Weston Hankins, an entrepreneur in Germany currently juggling three startups, was complaining to a friend one night about the lack of computer programmers in Berlin, when they stumbled into an idea: What if they trained refugees to code? “It was just so obvious,” said Hankins, who, along with his friend Anne Kjær Riechert, reasoned that coding classes for refugees would not only offset a shortage of technical skills across Europe, but also help kickstart the students’ new lives. “We can help them integrate because we know the startup community and we’re well connected here,” Hankins said. Also, he pointed out, “they need something to do.” READ MORE: Entrepreneurs launch coding school for refugees in Germany | Mashable