Thursday, July 28, 2016

Web Programming book and kids' coding camp

My Sabbatical plans changed somewhat last spring, and I ended up putting all of my time into writing the "Web Programming" book to be released in beta this fall by zyBooks. If you are not familiar with zyBooks, they are online books that feature animations and interactive questions. Students are much more engaged when interacting with zyBooks than with traditional print books. Plus zyBooks are usually much less expensive.

The "Web Programming" zyBook covers HTTP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, mobile, PHP, Node.js, and databases. It's been a great experience writing the book, and I've learned a lot in the process. I'm finishing the final chapter in the next few weeks. Contact zyBooks if you would like to preview the book.

This week I ran the Kids' Coding Adventures camp for 20 kids in grades 1-3. It was the first coding camp in Searcy for young kids that I'm aware of. We used Tynker, a platform for teaching coding to kids and adults. The kids absolutely loved it!

What would make me want to spend three days with young kids teaching coding? I attended a Logo programming camp in the 3rd grade, and it was like I had discovered an amazing treasure! The camp introduced me to something that would later be my profession. I wanted to provide the same experience for the kids of Searcy. Plus my two sons really wanted me to run the camp, and it's hard to say "no" to such enthusiasm.

The Harding website has a nice write-up about the camp.