As I mentioned in a previous post – Miss Chu and I are planning to learn Scratch programming over the June holidays. So, as a precursor to that, I picked up a copy of Hello Ruby – a picture storybook which offers a gentle introduction to… computational thinking. (Sounds incongruous!) But so far, so good – Miss Chu likes the book (despite a slightly iffy storyline) and it actually does offer a child-friendly context to discuss concepts like sequencing, patterns, loops, coding and so on.
There are fun activities suggested at the back which reinforce some of these ideas; one that is driving me crazy is Miss Chu pretending to be a “dumb” computer which can only perform small step by step commands to get anything done! The Hello Ruby website also has some extras you can download, and the girls had fun yesterday making (and playing with!) mini cardboard “laptops”. So Miss Chu decided to make a little video report of it for the blog!
Miss Chu explains computer components and manages to FaceTime Little Miss on her cardboard tech…
And I learned a little more recently at a ‘Scratch for Arduino’ workshop at a local library where we got to program little bits of hardware like servos and LED screens.
So we’re taking some baby steps forward and are wondering what cool things we can dream up with Scratch and beyond. But I do wonder whether coding as it stands now will be totally obsolete by the time the girls grow up? Will AI and quantum computing completely change the rules? There’s no way of preparing the kids for an unknown future – but trying new things, being creative, and learning how to learn – will always be relevant.