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Teaching Code in a Home School Setting

August 24, 2016

studioweb-html-iconEveryone knows that kids who learn to code, will have a big advantage in the workplace and in life. Besides the fact that coding is a valuable skillset with an amazing number of high paying jobs, the mental training that comes with learning to code cannot be underestimated.

Homeschooling your kids in code

If you don’t know web design and coding, you need a structured curriculum that will gently teach your kids. Courses have to be easy to understand, fun and practical. Yes, practical: nothing motivates kids to learn when they see that they are building real things.

… What’s more fun for a kid, to learn to drive a go-cart, or a real car?

Which coding languages should kids learn?

Teaching your kids to code in any language is great, but I would say the most important and effective languages to teach are the languages of the Web:

  1. HTML5
  2. CSS3
  3. JavaScript

Besides being used to create all the world’s websites and web apps (ex: google, facebook, amazon), these coding languages are also a popular choice in creating games and mobile apps that work on iPhone, iPads, Android devices and even Windows mobile devices.

Another great thing about these languages is that they are visual: students see their code come to life in real-world projects. This touch of reality is far more engaging than writing code that moves a character around a screen in a simulator.

Conclusion

I’ve been coding since 1994, teaching code since 2003 and helping schools teach code over the last 6 years. That experience teaches you a lot about teaching. If you want to easily home school your kids in code, feel free to check out StudioWeb.com.

Thanks!

Stefan Mischook

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My book tweeted at me

August 13, 2016

Hi,

Some of you know, that I wrote a book last year. Sales are actually increasing. I like it when someone tweets a photo of my book:

web design start here book

You can pick it up on Amazon.

Thanks,

Stefan

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What Pokémon Go can teach coders

July 24, 2016

Hi!

In this video, I use the fantabulous example of Pokémon Go, to illustrate key app development principles. Here you go:

Thanks!

Stefan Mischook
Killersites.com

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The future of IT industry.

July 20, 2016

Hi!

I got this question today:

Stefan, could you make a video about the future of IT industry? Many people say, that programmers are gonna disappear pretty soon as artificial intelligence will be able to solve programming tasks. What is your opinion?

My answer:

AI has problems with figuring out context in a sentence – so I wouldn’t worry too much. That said, in time it will happen, and when it does (10-20yrs?) … there will be super advanced robotics as well, and super advanced renewable energy.

A massive change in society altogether

So that would suggest to me (if we keep the politicians in check) a society where resources are nearly unlimited. They’re will be no need to work, as there will be plenty for all. I know it sounds crazy, but we’ve already seen a huge upheaval in society with the industrial revolution, where the whole human context was changed dramatically. It will happen again when AI, renewable energy and robotics hit the tipping point.

… So don’t worry about AI taking your coding jobs. When AI can code, the whole world will change for the better.

Stef

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Top 3 Code Teaching / Learning Tips

April 14, 2016

SQL code training badge

To get the best outcomes with students (and yourself!), here are my top 3 code teaching tips:

1- Write real code, not ‘lego’ code.
2- Use real coding tools, not code simulators.
3- Build real projects from start to finish.

1. Write real code, not ‘lego’ code

A funny thing happens when students write real code: they start to learn not only how to code, but they learn the concepts behind the code. What I’ve seen over the years is that trying to hide the code from students with block based code teaching tools slows the learning process.

You have to write code to learn to code.

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Should kids learn coding instead of foreign languages?

February 16, 2016

I was reading an article on the debate in Florida, whether to allow kids to learn code instead of a foreign language. I can offer some perspective here, since I am a coder who speaks English and French.

What has been more valuable in my life: knowing French, or knowing how to code?

Coding has easily been the most valuable skill for me.

But if my second language was English (rather than French,) maybe the tables would be turned. I say this because though French is a great language, and I think the more spoken languages you know the better, French has limited use on the world’s stage. English though, is the language of business … it is a must learn.

Coding is much more like English, it too is an international language of sorts. Knowing how to code has many positive impacts on your life, even if you don’t become a coder!

– See more at: Studioweb.com

Thanks,

Stefan Mischook

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Surface Pro 4 is great, but it can also suck.

February 8, 2016

Hi,

So I bought the Surface Pro 4 shortly after it came out, something I rarely do, because it’s dangerous to buy new tech products when they first come out.  So after a couple of months of use, I can tell you that Surface Pro 4 is both very cool and annoying.

The good:

  • Microsoft got the perfect blend of full computer and tablet. Amazing!
  • The pen is great – I take a lot of notes by hand. Love it!
  • Great screen and the kick-stand is HUGE!

The bad:

  • Whatever you do, don’t put it in sleep mode – many times, it doesn’t wake up and you have to restart. And that’s a pain because the Surface Pro gives you no indicator as to what’s going on.
  • The Surface Doc (that cost $250) doesn’t work half the time. It has troubles driving USB devices and even the monitor.
  • Some general minor flakiness: sometimes the touchscreen doesn’t work (you have to restart,) sometimes the pen doesn’t work … you have to restart.
  • Mouse pointer and UI element size issues: sometimes the mouse pointer looks like one of those giant foam hands you see at a football game. Other times, app buttons are so tiny, you need to buy a magnifying glass to see them. I’ve confirmed these issues weren’t the fault of the apps, because in other Windows 10 machines, this problem does not exist. It is Surface Pro 4.

So overall, it is a great computer that is in late beta. Please fix this otherwise great product Microsoft.

Stefan Mischook
Killersites.com

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