Your right that young people digest things quicker, to a point. But young programmers only happen when they WANT to program. I have met a few very good programmers that started very young (I myself started aged 6, though not "very good" haha) and they all say that they self-taught. When you want to learn something, especially at a young age, you just get the tools and give it a go. Trial and error.
I am sure some were purposely taught, but it must be very hard to teach a child something that they do not want to do. Hard enough teaching them to read and write!
This post has been edited by Shane Hudson: 13 December 2010 - 04:01 PM
The late great Professor Randy Pausch from CMU (Carnegie Mellon Uni) helped to develope a programe called Alice that taught programming. I haven;t used it but I have heared great things about it, give it a look sy here:
I originally taught myself the logic of programming and the language of the TI-83 calculator to solve geometry and physics problems back when I was a freshman in high school and I felt like it was a great way to start off programming as it wasn't OOP, it was limited but yet extensive, and the need for the programs were there as they GREATLY helped my grade and my speed. I originally wrote a program that the user types in a time and the angle between the hands on the clock when the clock is set to that time is returned. Took people 5-10 minutes to do it by hand and even though there were only two or three on the final it allowed me to boost ahead of everyone else and I finished first.
Some would call it cheating but I had to learn the algorithms very intimately in order to get it to work. Obviously we couldn't have official make your class easier classes but if someone did this as an extra-curricular in order to get kids into programming and using logic, I think more people would be interested.
Though do we really want more programmers? With the economy as it is I think we need a little less competition haha just kidding.
I think games is the way to go. Most younger kids aren't going to be interested in bit shifting to divide instead of using the divide operator. They want to see something fun come from what they are learning!
Show them a relatively simple game that you've made, and tell them they can do it too. Then teach them what they need to know to get that game underway. After that they'll most likely want to see what else they can do and they'll do most of the learning by themselves through internet sources.
I heard this radio program/podcast about a program called "Digigirlz" that I believe started out to get high school girls interested in the field of programming. It may be just as useful for all genders. Below is a link the the website. You may want to google for other resources.
The same way you teach anyone else as long as they are interested. I started when I was 11 and was self taught up till I was 19 and took my first course in college. The internet is an amazing resource.
Yeah u r right....i started programming since i was 15 and now im 17...hopefully u can guide to if i go wrong...and i agreed with u about the internet...its a really amazing resource...