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alright welcome everybody can you hear
me ok or all right it sounds nice and
loud so yep as someone said my name is
Bob Pollin and welcome to growing up
geek so I have is we've assembled a
crack team here for you today to talk
about kids and programming and
technology because its first of all it's
a very current topic and it's a very
important topic so myself I'm a
independent consultant that's what
people pay me to do but I also run the
Chicago Java users group I'm an apache
software foundation member committer in
pmc on apache tika and Felix I help run
the go to junior event as well as the
dev ox for kids group here in Chicago so
very involved in kids in programming and
I'll let the rest of my crew introduce
themselves hi I'm Sarah Johnson I'm
based in Philadelphia and I work for a
nonprofit called tech girls I'll tell
you more about them later I'm a
generalist in nit i've been i've managed
tech support for companies and i've been
an IT department of one which is always
fun you talk to yourself a lot and I've
been volunteering teaching adults and
kids technology in Philadelphia involved
in the texting out there all right cool
my name is Tim steel um I'm in Chicago
I'm with Bob I help with the dev acts
for kids group I was also participated
in the go to junior conference and I'm a
software architect so a lot of front-end
let a JavaScript let a node but that's
what I do all right so we're all here go
to right is everybody enjoying the
conference so far all right me too me
too and here we go to we like to talk a
lot about the future I mean we heard a
hear more about it today but this talk
is going to trump all of them because
for what we're going to talk about
there's no Gartner hype curve for
we're off every TechRadar imaginable
happening 30 40 years from now one thing
that's just very apparent to me is that
the kids growing up today are growing up
in a very different environment than we
did we grew up in a very different
environment from our parents and these
things just keep accelerating so what
some of the points we're going to try to
make is this change in environment means
that as parents or educators or people
children we need to rethink how we're
doing things as well we want to be able
to make sure the kids can be successful
and good citizens in this society that
were that's that's coming up that's
changing so much so first of all and I
don't think it's a hard sell to this
crowd you guys already get technology
you're here at a conference talking
about technology so you obviously very
important but we're also hoping that
we're going to expose you to some of the
the resources that are out there for you
as parents as educators as people
interested in children to help get you
to that spot where you can place a kid
in a program and they can have success
and find the right mix so they are
interested in technology and that
inspiration and interest can grow over
time so I'm kind of curious though where
this audience is at as far as like so
who here has kids all right got a lot of
folks with kids so we all know we love
to brag about our kids so I'm gonna ask
some questions that is going to allow
you to either to brag about your kids a
little bit so how many people in this
room have kids that are fluent and going
to websites and they can use the
Internet all right a lot of hands go up
how many kids have actually built a
website I have kids that are built a
kids are folks have kids that use
smartphones and they're fluent and using
smartphone swiping just playing games
yeah right a lot of them how many kids
have built an app one all right there's
one in every room and there's the proud
parent with a hand up it's like yes my
it is built a nap I win but what I'm
trying to highlight is we have we're
very technical savvy people and most of
our kids are really user or consumers of
technology right there are a lot of the
the UX that's gone into devices these
days it's made things easier to use but
we still need people to produce it we've
got so much code out there now that
maintaining it is actually going to be a
huge burden that they're going to be
shouldered with who actually believes
are going to be writing code 50 years
from now okay my hands okay very good
it's glad to have you but the foremost I
think most of us are probably going to
be a little bit out of our mental prime
at that point and we're going to hope
that other folks are going to be able to
pick up that ball and carry it but I
think we've got some problems and Tim's
going to talk about some of the issues
that we have today with with our society
and with how people understand
technology thanks Bob yeah so with our
society most people as the slide says
most people don't understand technology
we start with our government our
government struggles with technology so
you know a lot of you already kind of
know where this is going so we can start
with the VA and the Department of
Defense where they have a 27 billion
dollar project to try to get there two
systems as just talk to each other and
they abandoned it because they couldn't
figure it out or we have the Office of
Personnel Management which had over 20
million government employees information
exposed in a hack because they're using
outdated software they're not using
encryption they're not using
multi-factor authentication stuff that
you know most companies at least mine
the VPN we can go with our legal system
I think this is the big one that's been
most recent is we have the Apple versus
the FBI and that's a very important case
that involves encryption now whether
you're on the side of the FBI on the
side of Apple the question of whether
the government should have access to
encryption you need to under
stand technology in order to properly
answer the question and understand the
ramifications on both sides we have
google versus oracle this one is
actually they're having their final
arguments this week and this court case
is can you copyright AP is and the
biggest problem that this court case has
they can't explain to the judge and the
jury what an API is they have google
bringing in filing cabinets trying to
explain it using this you have the judge
talking about it as a library and the
people that are deciding the future of
software development with ap is they
don't even know what they're actually
deciding and then we have our local
community so well so this is my favorite
unsecured Wi-Fi twenty-eight percent of
Wi-Fi is unsecured so you guys are off
the hook but you guys over here look
around statistically one of you one of
the people around you is using the
default admin password on their router
or using unsecured while are giving away
free bandwidth this is another fun one
can anyone tell me what the number one
password is for people and you what's
that password it's the number one
password is password do you know number
two one two three four five six requires
six characters that's the number on my
luggage yeah exactly so the question is
we're talking about kids what's standing
between your kid and your app store
password and an unlimited supply of mega
points is it the word password or 123456
so really what we're talking about here
is that we're going to need better
digital citizens for our future and to
talk about that give it back to buy so I
mean you know and this stuff starts at a
very young age it you know it comes down
to like how we're starting to socialize
our kids and most of us remember growing
up many of us grow up with sports so
this is this is a model that makes sense
to us right so sports are great and this
is not to knock sports they teach
teamwork they can teach you courage they
teach you perseverance and we all have
those experience where you know we get
knocked down and we get back up we have
that experience where you know we're
losing and we cut and we believe that we
can come from behind him
he proved to ourselves that we win even
against perhaps a more talented team
where you know just having that grit
solves that problem for us and I
completely bought into this this
philosophy so I mean as a football
player in high school like I was a
little runt on the team and you know I
went to the gym and I bought in that if
I put in the work it would happen and by
the time I graduated college I was a
two-time all-american now these things
can happen when you buy into that
philosophy but then I graduated and I
found out that the real world is very
different than the sporting world so
there are some gaps that I realized and
sports by nature are kind of adversarial
where you know I'm basically encouraged
to destroy the other team by as much as
I can and by doing that I am rewarded
however in business whether you're
trying to go for a promotion or you're
companies in general that you're looking
at win-win scenarios we actually benefit
by working together more than we benefit
from trying to beat each other up we all
get hurt when we try to beat each other
up but when we work together we all
benefit now I saw this coming out with
open source and how open source works
and I just saw it just in social
environments within within my workplace
so it took me a while to learn these
things because you come out with one
model that's a this works and I'm just
going to apply that tool everywhere well
it doesn't actually work that way so how
can we get our kids to start
understanding how the world actually
works younger so they don't have to go
through that pain you know still do
sports but there's other things we can
be doing as well and now Sarah is going
to talk about some of the other things
that prevent people from doing these
types of programs so your kids not a
genius and chances are you're probably
not either definitely not a reason for
them to avoid learning about technology
it's great to recognize geniuses for
their exceptional work but in reality
they're successful because of the team
that's supporting them Google did
research on how to create the dream team
so figure pick a bunch of great people
from his
we put them together and to quote the
Google research take one road scholar to
extroverts one engineer who rocks at
angularjs and a PhD voila dream team
assembled right they found out that they
were completely wrong about what makes a
good team it's not about the people as
individuals but about how they work
together and how they can support each
other as a team so it takes all kinds to
form a good team you know you need them
to work together but you also need a
diverse set of skills there's very a lot
of misconceptions about technology
expertise and what skills someone
working in technology has we all work in
IT so we can all remove a virus from an
infected computer right help all our
parents and friends yeah let's talk
about it in terms of a house you have a
leak in the kitchen sink who should you
call plumber right you have a leak in
the roof who should you call for that
probably a roofer you have a broken
window who should you call for that I
have to I have no idea I've never had a
broken window fortunately but I'm not
going to call the plumber I'm not going
to call the roofer I'm going to get
someone with specialized expertise the
same way that we're going to do with
with technology now houses have been
around forever so people understand that
they know who to ask for help when they
have a problem because technology is
still relatively new for for most people
it's they don't know who to ask they
don't know how to get help we know that
we we can't fix everything alone and we
every aspect of Technology how many of
you don't do fonts or how many of you
deal with databases only or DevOps
exclusively right there's such a huge
range of skills and technology and what
it means to work in technology and we're
all attracted to it for different
reasons so the more that we educate kids
on all the different aspects of
technology and help them find that
aspect that they like that that thing
that will keep them engaged with it and
creating rather than just consuming the
better like our society will be the more
roles will have to help support each
other
technology and who knows what's going to
what's going to interest them so this
all needs to how could we better prepare
our kids right what can we actually do
for our non genius kids to be better
tech digital citizens solutions are out
there many are still being developed but
we have some ways that will suggest for
you and your kids to get started if they
haven't already no matter what type of
tech activity they try though be sure to
get them started as early as possible
and make technology part of their
education not just an add-on that they
come to you later so I'm do you want to
start by yes let's start so let's get
into the meat so this is this is our
this is our help session and we're going
to go through a lot of the different
things that are out there and again
depending on where your kids are at
their some things might fit better than
others so we're going to work through
all those four things and the things I
want to start with is the one-time
events so this includes the event that
we did on Sunday with junior go to and
this is my experience with fonts so
that's Comic Sans I just put that on
because I didn't see a junior go to logo
so hopefully the people that go to are
all happy with that use it if you want
but these events are the entry level
events so the one-time events are
focused at my kid has no programming
experience my kid maybe has that that
consumer experience they can use a
laptop they know what keys are they know
it a mouse is but in general they're not
being you know they're not producers of
this technology right they don't
understand programming logic and that's
okay because what these are here for is
there to inspire kids to want to do more
these sessions generally focus on making
the kids successful by giving them quick
wins and allowing them to kind of
experiment with the technology that's
that they're using so one example is we
did minecraft modding so Freddie leads a
minecraft modding class and he's here in
the audience and you know the way that
works is there's modding kits that are
available their scripts that they run to
decompile and and to create the modding
kits and there are
are basically code that they can copy
and paste into the IDE we are completely
realistic we're not going to teach kids
object-oriented programming in three
hours which is about how long these
events usually last so they're their
brief so if your kid ends up absolutely
hating technology that's okay it's three
hours of pain you didn't sign up for a
full season of it you don't have to wake
up at 8am there's no traveling to other
states its brief it's generally painless
and you kind of get a beat on whether
this is something they'd like to
continue to do or not the big focus is
on letting them take something away so i
mean the the beauty of the way the
course works and we got this course from
arun gupta and his son so I mean the
other thing that's kind of cool about
this is sometimes the kids are actually
generating and creating the course
material and leading the course material
but each one of these kids goes home
with a laptop setup for Minecraft
modding so we're heading in the summer
and kids need things to do over the
summer and sometimes it rains outside we
do live in Chicago right good indoor
activity yeah why don't you go play
Minecraft and you know why don't you do
some of the hacking I mean it's it's
amazing to watch some of these workshops
when these kids learn that they can
spawn ender dragons at will and then
they find out they can spawn two and
three and then there's this thing called
a for loop and they can put a big number
in there and the Dragons just keep
coming out it's really amazing to see
that because the eyes just light up it's
that's it it all clicks and it's like I
can do that yes you can so um you know
that's kind of the goal of a lot of
these things and the minecraft modding
is just one example we had one with
cryptography thats Sarah led html5 which
Tim led but every kid walked away with
some skill they didn't understand all of
the things that were going around around
it but again they were inspired and they
saw the power of learning these things
because I mean I'm a typical boy I got
into computer science because I wanted
to make games I mean how many guys in
here got into computer science because
like I want to build video games how
many of us are actually video game duval
first all right well we got 11 sort of
you know so it's like that is like the
gateway to computer programming for most
little boys so for getting them into
that you know there's other classes out
there such as Alice that we're going to
be looking to host in the future and
that is more storytelling and those are
more focused on getting more girls
involved and you know Sarah I'll talk a
little bit more about that on later
slides but you know again the goal is to
inspire this is the entry level course
but let's see your kid goes to one of
these events and loves it what do I do
next Sarah well there's um oh here's
some pictures too great photos and
anecdotes go over that mall day so I'm
going to talk a little bit about tech
girls first because we're similar to the
dead box for kids things we have one
time workshop their introductions to
technologies for girls the three our
workshops and it's really what I talked
about before takes all kinds we focus on
the breath of technology skills so the
workshops that we have that anyone can
use to run a workshop anywhere it our
topics like we have Alice you know to
create like stories and animation same
thing with like scratch and a lot of the
sort of kid-focused technology that you
you've heard about in the HTML and and
all those we also have them install
linux on a computer take computers apart
what's inside a computer literally
here's an old computer and a screwdriver
have fun and show me these parts and
then like some robotics ones user
experience design mobile app design and
as well as mobile app development so
again trying to find what's that aspect
of technology that's going to get you
interested to learn more so we return
these the national organizations because
um they are ones in addition to tech
girls but most of these have a very
structured organization they have teams
and they're going to be much more
intense time commitment and much more
in-depth learning than the single event
options the ones once you know that your
kids interested in this and they won't
get off the computer and stop making
websites or dragons and
minecraft where do you go from there and
these are some of the options that are
out there again it's still kind of new
or so a lot its coming up but I want to
start with coderdojo because its most
similar to the dedlock's for kids and
the go to junior workshops that we did
where it's taking an aspect of
programming generally sometimes with a
little bit of hardware like Arduino and
raspberry PI's and they do like a
monthly coding club but it's very
freeform and it's very individualized
for the kit usually run at a library or
something these are global they're based
out of the UK and they have chapters all
over the country there's two in Chicago
200 in the US and a thousand global
coderdojo groups somebody can say i want
to start one i'm going to meet at the
library on tuesdays once a month and
kids can come in and we'll work on
whatever they want to work on well work
them through scratch will give them
one-on-one mentoring so that's really
good if your kids interested in one
specific thing and if it's you don't
want to sign up for it but it's there
every month and you can keep going and
if you're traveling with your kid you
could probably find them in other cities
as well FIRST Robotics how many people
know about first robotics oh wow I'm
glad you're all here because they're
awesome they do so much um they are
primarily in schools and Bobby are going
to correct me if I get any of this
because I haven't volunteered with them
but they're primarily in schools and
they range in ages from kindergarten all
the way through high school they have
organized challenges they start out with
like grades K through 3 where they give
them a real world problem and they work
with my lego mindstorm robots to sort of
how would you address this problem in a
very creative kind of way as they
progress into grades four through eight
they work on real world problems with
mindstorm robots but then they compete
against other schools as they get into
7th grade and up they can do the
technology challenge where they program
robots to complete challenges I think
it's table top 44 like the junior high
level and then it goes through high
school but that's really focused on the
technology aspect of it like what can
this robot do move through an obstacle
course things like that
and then the the sort of the ultimate
one is the robotics I'm sorry the high
school ones is the Robotics Competition
where they're actually working with
industrial sized robots and they compete
head-to-head and they have like local
regional and then do they have national
competition yes they do I mean and and
if you don't mind I mean so the one
thing about first and one of the things
that we talked about earlier is sort of
the the philosophy again the the
mentality that some of these
organizations build around sharing and
first embraces this as an organization
because they have something called co-op
partition where basically you are
competing against other teams but it's
baked into the scoring that blowing out
another team is not advantageous to you
so what the teams are actually
encouraged to do is they're encouraged
to share designs they're encouraged to
share knowledge with each other and
they're actually judged on this so again
it's getting a lot closer to the to that
real world model of how things actually
work at companies and and one thing I
did forget to mention is is just you
know volunteering at these things for
technology professionals it is super
exciting because once you get into these
programs where the kids are doing this
on a weekly or a daily basis they will
blow your minds I mean some of the
things that these kids are doing at like
fourth through eighth grade it's really
impressive its autonomous robots they
are programming autonomous robots
they're using sensors they're picking
things up there manipulating things the
one thing I would add though it's like
an actual sport like if you're ever
involved in band or you are involved in
a everyday type of sport that's the type
of commitment it is which as a parent
like for me it was like holy cow this is
this isn't just recreational this is
serious so that's one of the major
differences between that and some of the
first time events is there's usually
commitment involved in some of this yeah
and and then at four volunteers
especially like you can help out like as
a mentor with with a team with your kids
and that can be a huge time commitment
but at the same time with the
competitions they need a lot of
volunteers to help at the competitions
and so they say like on their website
especially they have
everything from like a one day you know
half a day opportunity to a full
semester kind of thing so some other
things that are that are out there
naturally oh and right for FIRST
Robotics they have 500 over 500 first
teams within 50 miles of Chicago so
that's that's out there the schools are
really picking up on that because you
know you buy some Lego kits for the
little ones and and get someone who kind
of can figure it out and you're up and
running yeah there's clubs and things
everywhere if you're interested talk to
me about mercy I'm involved in first um
so I've got Apple and Microsoft up here
because they actually they run summer
camps they have multi-week camps for
kids at their stores so find a Microsoft
or Apple store in your community and go
ask them what can you do for my kid get
my kid into tech yeah we can do
questions throughout this so for public
schools um me personally or I think the
first is it exists in the public school
if they have so yeah first is usually a
club a club sport but I think one of the
things that I've heard about and I don't
know if you're gonna cover teals at all
or even watching them okay so then I
won't steal your thunder on that but
there there are some things that are
involved with public schools but I think
what we'll touch on that a little bit
later I don't want to steal any of your
thunder um yeah but it's a great
question um yes so um they have camps at
their stores and they have free
workshops throughout the year that can
be school field trips and they it's
pretty much bring the kids and they can
use all the tech in the store that's how
they you know that's your marketing
angle but they do teach them things I
know at Apple we've done like video
editing audio editing you know making
making videos like with the smart smart
phones and things like that um and then
you know they really want to connect
with with the kids beyond just like
using the devices and do some mentoring
in the schools and career exploration
and some of that is focused more on on
the girls side of things because women
in technology it's a young
we need more look around the room but
they also do Till's as bob was
mentioning where they bring computer
science volunteers into the classroom
and I didn't read on their site
specifically about like which types of
schools but um there's one in Illinois
I'm trying to remember what the name of
it is I think it recently changed like
DePaul it was it was laying tech I think
or know i think it was Gordon Tech and
now it's they actually have a tails part
and we're gonna get to that later too
because you're right we are the adults
and it is up to us to share what we know
about technology I mean one of the facts
that was on the tail section of the
Microsoft website was um that nine out
of ten parents want their kids to learn
computer science and one out of four
schools are actually offering computer
science classes and you know it we're
trying to change that Chicago is working
really hard to change that in other
cities as well but the reality is it's
not there we had a kid in the encryption
workshop will eight year old he's like
when are we gonna learn this in schools
like you're not I'm sorry not yet yeah
Chicago Public Schools did pass
something that there are going to start
making requirements around computer
science school but that's super recent
and then also you I mean we're talking
kind of about national organizations and
the really organized stuff but again
like your local school like just talk to
them ask them what you can do some of
requirements but sometimes there's ways
around that with like if you have a
teacher in the room with you you might
not have to get the full range of
background checks you know depends on
the school and that teals program they
said you know you can go teach in a
classroom with a teacher two to three
times a week and they estimated that's
about two hundred and eighty hours a
year but you can also be a TI once a
week or you can consult with the school
and and help them figure out how to
bring technology into the classroom how
to enhance their technology education um
so the way that this lives organized is
the first row is the coed activities in
because that's what I work in um so
Technovation challenge if you haven't
heard it that one is um again it's for
girls it spreads focused on high school
but a middle it goes down as low as
middle score and they let they have an
apps challenge they have the kids design
a mobile app come up with a real world
problem in a solution for it in the
frame of an a mobile app and they not
only like design the app come up with a
business plan but they actually develop
the app
at least like a working prototype of it
and they have to have like a pitch and
do a video and submission and it's
actually a global competition there's a
pretty cool movie about it so that
that's a really fun one but again it's
like a three-month competition and
you're as a mentor you have to devote a
certain number of hours a week the kids
have to devote at least 44 hours a week
i think it was and and it can be very
involved but if they're getting into
that they want to learn more about how
to make apps and how to use this
technology it's a great place to go and
that one can also be you know teams of
like three to five kids and they just
need like a mentor they just need your
help to make this happen girl to code is
another more in-depth one where they
have a six-week immersion program in the
summer where they you know again are
teaching girls web development and
mobile app development and they actually
bring them like two offices and to
technology offices and i think they yeah
i don't know all the details of how
they're doing it but really getting the
kids interacting with technology
professionals so that you could say oh i
see myself being being that person i see
gracious usually this is done like those
pools for high schools and you
collaborate that you plan event a
feature there that was a sponsor for the
school site you have to be a
professional computer sent profession of
teaching this classes and it's
interesting because my fee I do have to
run tests and they asked me big occasion
of recursion all right that's like this
is getting toughest interview after a
while but the thing is that I is
exciting because that is that is
essentially how you implement the
yearbook from a first flip this cool for
you to break that to the kids in the
school so when you work when there was
pushing after out of a public schools
this is one of the ways in this
not necessarily in the stomach like it
we just finished a hundred of us year
round yes the whole school year we're
doing one hour every week about working
on a story short we searched by them
HTML CSS a lot of it is self driven so
mostly what well what the purpose of you
is the kids get stuff in pairs and stuff
and also you guys it was just filled him
like I have one of my interns another
company the guy does have six months
experience he got a
hundred-thousand-dollar yeah and so
that's the other side of what girls who
code does because they have the six or
seven week immersion program during the
summer and then then throughout the year
they have semester-long programs that I
are like 40 hours a semester like once a
week or something you need to yeah and
you get tested that's it's interesting
um so and then the last thing that I
have up here is the point in Girl Scouts
a couple years ago my tech girls we
talked to them and they were like oh I
don't have a bag for tech so we don't
want it you know we're not going to do
anything and now they do mm both of them
and I was actually impressed by they
have like entrepreneur badge and like
digital media and some just general like
technology ones um so you know if you
have a kid in Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts
or you know a local troop like approach
them because a lot of this is driven by
the troop leaders and what the kids want
is that you go through digital safety
you have to realize you should use the
encryption workshop we have to because
when they say digital safety they're
like don't post your address on social
media like dude there's so much more
cool all right i'll let Tim go on to
other options oh okay yeah I'm good I
might go all right and the final one you
so we kind of got into this but this is
the stuff that's not necessarily an
organization or you know nonprofit isn't
marking the schools but stuff that
you're doing at home so first one I have
a 15-month daughter 15 month old
daughter at home and they talk a lot
about you know what do we do in those
early years right and some of the
research that's come out is very limited
to maybe even no screen time for the
first two years you know it's early
they're learning the environment around
them so how do we get started well a lot
of that early learning is exploratory
it's not structured it's not a
structured environment you're not giving
them a kit you're not giving them
instructions and if you think about it
you hand a 15 month old something the
first thing they do is they look at it
and the second thing to do yep right in
the mouth they're learning it about it
that's what I do it and sometimes they
say this doesn't taste like anything
sometimes they say this isn't taste good
dog food anymore but or they appointed a
doctor I they wouldn't hate the doctors
right point is it's very exploratory and
you know Legos duplos connects these are
all the sorts of activities that are
very exploratory but they start to build
the foundation of the thinking so
there's actually research that's that
just came out recently about using Legos
for creativity and they found that if
you're a free builder meaning that you
know you and your kid you sit down you
dumped a big you know bucket of legos
out in front you start building just
that free building starts to promote
creativity and problem-solving and kids
and actually adults so when you sit down
benefit to and so you know that's really
good for those young kids but you're not
getting a lot of that screen time and a
lot of that that you know that immersive
technology but you're starting to learn
the fundamental skills as you get older
and this that's the next thing so what
do you do when you start to get a little
bit older and this stuff
this is where its sciency you start to
get into the science stuff of it with
mom and dad's help but it's disguised
this fun so squishy circuits is fun we'd
actually do this at devoxx for kids off
of the younger kids and you build
conductive Plato so you take this
play-doh you mold it into it you know
whatever an iguana or whatever and gets
the not the conductive but the insulator
insulate area and then you make the eyes
the conductive part you hook it up to a
little battery pack and you put LEDs in
them and you turn it on in the LEDs
light up and they start to learn about
the electricity and how circuits work
well and that's all you find the recipe
for that Plato online you find the
instructions you can find the battery
packs that think we got like 30 battery
all this stuff and it's real easy to get
a hold of it really easy like I said
it's tough to duel with mom and dad so
you're doing it together a little bits
this is starts younger it gets in the
older groups but it's it's basically
modular you know electronics so you can
buy an actuator you can buy some lights
you can buy you know you can build you
know machines you can build software
whatever but you just hook a bunch of
pieces together and it's a creative way
to build electronics and you know like
you said they have it for different ages
so older you know the older kids can get
into some of the more advanced stuff the
little kids might you know that's just
their working with just lighting things
up so that's another good one in scratch
we talked a little bit about scratch and
this came out of MIT and you know how
many of you here are programmers alright
so pretty much everybody right you know
programming it can be extremely
frustrating when you know miss a
semicolon or you know you get into an
infinite loop or whatever the case is
you're banging your head against the
keyboard trying to figure out why I
can't why it doesn't work ok that's the
adult stuff that's not necessarily fun
to do when you're five however was
scratched you're not necessarily
learning the syntax but you know we have
the frozen one and I know you said your
daughter loved the firm and one but
you're telling Elsa you know skate
forward 40 inches or whatever skate
you know 20 and you make her do a box
and you're learning to structure it and
the
that structural thinking that you need
with programming and so you start to get
into that that the older generation
where it's mom and dad's help so then
I'm the third group i have is what i
call the hungry for more group this is
after your kids kind of got the hook you
know they've been to a couple of these
organizations they've done some stuff at
home there may be part of the national
organizations up try a couple of the
events and so this is the stuff that's a
little bit more involved a little bit
older kids too it's not stuff that's
necessarily mom and dad they may ask for
your help but you know code Academy has
code on a bunch of different topics you
know a bunch of different languages and
it can teach you programming can teach
you some of the more advanced topics
code.org is another one it's very
similar odds nonprofit they're trying to
actually get into the public school
system and try to make computer science
and more required national thing and
they're kind of like I said same vein as
code Academy I'll battlecode this is
actually fun I spent a little bit too
much time last night I was up a little
late not getting really interested in
this so this is another thing that's out
of MIT how many of you know what battle
code is none of you all right you do
this is me so it's an actual MIT it's
actual course that's at MIT it's an
for weeks and all this is you basically
build AI and you build every single they
virtualized robots that they load
however many robots with your AI and
they got to work in unison to go back to
sports mentality beat the other team
whose develop their own AI right and
then they go in and you have objectives
and you you know all this stuff like
that you conquer or you try to do all
this stuff but the whole thing is open
source and available online it if you
search for battle code and they give you
instructions here's how you in you know
follow our lectures here follow our
instructions and you can have your own
AI battle bot like virtualized battle
bot up in like a couple hours or
whatever like that and then you can
actually participate in the competition
like it's a national competition they
have a special one that's for the MIT
students that one's for scholarships but
then they have another competition
that's for prizes and everything like
that that's open for everybody so k
dollar ships scholarship
yes taking those yet and so a lot of
this stuff to the battle code thing a
lot of you that your tech entrepreneurs
they were listing out all the people who
came out like Dropbox and all these
things like that that are battlecode
like veterans and they come back to
these events because it's such a huge
thing because they teach your work in
teams of force you learn you learn
teamwork you learn how to think you
learn strategy you learn coding all this
stuff like that so it's a little older
but still it's an amazing thing and this
is all stuff that you can do at home you
don't need to join an organization
you're talking about you know hacking
during the summer it's a rainy day this
is stuff that your kids could be doing
today so I don't let you finish off the
last slide here alrighty yeah I mean so
this room is a great slice of the
Chicago developer community are people
from all over the world that can make
this stuff happen so we're all at these
conferences and we're all trying to
figure out what's coming next right what
is what is going to happen in the future
and what it is is is we make the future
these things that are out there
influencing kids to get involved in
programming whether it's self driven
whether it's with one of the long term
in organizations or whether it's just
you know kind of getting the spark at
one of these initial events it's up to
us to make the future so it's if you
want to know where programming is going
in the next 20 years get involved in
this stuff I mean they're looking for
volunteers it's a lot of fun for
technologists being involved in this
stuff and if you have any questions if
you're trying to find out more about
these organizations again we have a
crack team up here that has a very broad
experience with them and with that
that's all we have we've got some
references and do we have any questions
so let me ask you guys a question but
who is involved in any of the stuff that
we mentioned or does anybody have
anything that we didn't have up here
that delight to mention yes vex yes yeah
they're a fork its political but yes
it's it's really very much it is
definitely a thing and I volunteered at
vex it's a different opinion on it right
so vex makes you buy all their stuff
which is great because most of the stuff
then works together they kind of taken
the Apple philosophy with bot building
whereas in first you see a lot more like
3d printing and kind of like they're a
little bit more loosey-goosey with the
rules so again depending on what you're
what you're aiming for or what's close
to you both of X and first have very
very similar values and and they
actually they actually started off as
the same thing and then they just kind
of kind of forked off a little bit
because they had different philosophies
but all that stuff is good we do
actually have one question here what
would you suggest for younger kids like
three years old and we kind of talked
about like the this fishy circuits a
little bit cuz you're playing with
play-doh and that's really fun I yeah
there's wow I don't have kids so my
analogies or sometimes off base but I'm
like cats are using tablets so let's go
three years old yeah you should be on
the tablet but I think things like like
scratch and block me where it's drag and
drop and you make like a character move
across the screen by by moving puzzle
pieces that actually contain code and
interlocking them that gives like a
great reward for the younger kids they
see this little in scratch it's the sort
of like Mouser thing that moves across
the screen um so the three years old
might be able to get that depending on
ya know I think go ahead so yeah with
scratch the thing we've seen is usually
um at that kind of age group that
definitely mom and need mom and dad's
help and the reason for that is the
reading skills I mean the turn right
turn left that kind of stuff like that
they're kind of bigger words a little
bit more sentences and so you know it
can be a little bit of a struggle not to
say that they can't do it it just
usually requires what we call pair
programming
in order to do it and so that's the time
investment you know sitting down and
going through it but it's definitely
something that's done and we've seen it
done even at our organizations and we do
scratch I think we've had kids as young
as four and there's both mom and dad's
assist yeah and so we have that yes
scratch squishy circuits that one's
always good kids love that one like I
said because then you you know when you
make you want to make the play doh it's
not you biting these little tiny cups
you know and you get this stuff and it
dries out quick you make batches about
that big I mean that's one batch of the
special circuits and that's like here's
your conductor and here's your insulator
and its massive and so you have a lot a
lot of play-doh here to play with and so
like I said they can make things and
then you get you can get in different
things little motors not just LEDs and
so that one's always good and then like
still you're in a little bit of a
transitional phase and so still sticking
with some of that stuff but your Legos
your connects that kind of stuff getting
into the free building you know I have
always thought web developing and
programming is just you know Legos for
adults it's the same stuff and you know
with this stuff it's that's always good
to sit there and just you know see what
you know with my daughter it's just
start to structure the towers I mean how
big can you get and then it falls over
and then why problem solving like that
kind of stuff and kind of getting into
that that challenge mentality yeah just
to get more into the pairing thing so
I've done this with my kids that are
younger ages with Alice because it is
more of like a storytelling type thing
is your kids have the imagination you've
got the programming skills so just
letting them see like under the covers
the stuff working at least gives them
that appreciation that oh and I'm
watching a Pixar movie a lot actually
went in to what we were doing and some
things are harder than others and and
they can actually see that in the code
as you as you're rolling by with it you
know again at that age it's really more
about inspiration and showing them that
it's fun you don't want to frustrate
them by like why don't you understand
what a for loop is no that's again at
the younger ages it's more about just
kind of showing them how powerful some
of this stuff is I mean we've all gotten
sucked into it it's just articulating
that to them it's like look it sounds
boring when you just see me there on my
computer typing away to the late hours
of the night but
really this is what I'm doing you know
and you showed them a video game or
something like that it's like oh is that
what you do all day huh we spun up a
minecraft server and just starting jars
was exciting for my son because he's
like oh this is what you do all day it's
lying entirely any other questions yeah
yeah we used AWS it was it was painless
anyways he knows she'll now he's an SSH
okay okay I want me to show him bash
scripts all right and in the google the
instructions i guess for one more final
thing is like for dev ox all the stuffs
that we're running all the workshops
it's like open source yes so you know we
decided chicago we needed a dev acts for
kids organizations chicago and so bob
and i started okay how can we do this
as well and so how can we do this how
can we start this thing boston you can
bring I don't know today I don't think
they have a boston won yet I don't think
I but I got a map that I have a map but
there too so you know go home get a
couple of your you know tuck buddies and
say hey how can we how can we start this
here here's all this you know here's all
the instructions here's how we can run a
workshop you know you don't even come up
with a lesson plan it's there and then
you start and then you start thinking
about well what if we did this lesson
then you start building your own sting
and contributing back and so really it
does start with you from yeah it all
just takes energy I mean you know the
the first time you do it it'll probably
be rough but then the second time you do
it it'll get easier and the third time
you'll do it like again it just gets
better every time you do it then the
main thing is just getting the energy to
do these things and seeing that it is
important yeah and and that's like one
thing that I've been telling parents I'm
like well if the kids are having a
playdate add some tech to it you know
throw out a workshop plan let them play
around with something you know doesn't
have to just like they're playing with
tech these are the new toys and and as
you said like we're seeing high school
students teenagers who have learned a
little bit of this stuff and they're
like can I
someone else yes please do this is
scholarships yeah we have a volunteer at
tech girls who is 16 I think and she
turned volunteering with tech girls and
running workshops she ran her own
technology conference organized it and
everything that became an internship and
she's getting independent school credit
for it now so yeah yes have fun let's
let them have fun with it all right I
see Simon over there is like a guy's
right I'm we all the time so remember to
vote and let's give a big applause for