Forum Thread

technology for kids

ElDorito 7,546 1,386 October 8, 2016 at 07:47 AM
Last year I taught 4 hours over a few sessions... we went over some basic coding and they played around with different websites..

I'm working with 9, 10, and 11 year olds... I may do some of the coding again, but was considering other options....

I am doing two groups - one in a few weeks and one in the spring... Each course will offer different skills and lessons...

That being said, I have $100 now and $100 for the spring course...

Any suggestions on what to buy or what to teach? I can't spend the $200 now.. has to be split ...

Other topics I was considering: Google - drive, creating a website, VR, google sheets, slides, etc...

Photography - Painting with light, f stop, iso, etc...

Someone mentioned raspberry pi, but not sure what I could do with that as far as teaching goes...

The class will probably have around 15 kids... obviously if cost is an issue, they can share materials...

For this round, I was thinking about buying a few google VR headsets.. not the cardboard ones, but ones already assembled ... I know aliexpress is fairly inexpensive and was aiming for quantity over quality if anyone has any suggestions on the headsets... that's be great


Thanks!

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#2
Quote from ElDorito View Post :
Last year I taught 4 hours over a few sessions... we went over some basic coding and they played around with different websites..

I'm working with 9, 10, and 11 year olds... I may do some of the coding again, but was considering other options....

I am doing two groups - one in a few weeks and one in the spring... Each course will offer different skills and lessons...

That being said, I have $100 now and $100 for the spring course...

Any suggestions on what to buy or what to teach? I can't spend the $200 now.. has to be split ...

Other topics I was considering: Google - drive, creating a website, VR, google sheets, slides, etc...

Photography - Painting with light, f stop, iso, etc...

Someone mentioned raspberry pi, but not sure what I could do with that as far as teaching goes...

The class will probably have around 15 kids... obviously if cost is an issue, they can share materials...

For this round, I was thinking about buying a few google VR headsets.. not the cardboard ones, but ones already assembled ... I know aliexpress is fairly inexpensive and was aiming for quantity over quality if anyone has any suggestions on the headsets... that's be great


Thanks!
There are a lot of different directions you could go. I probably wouldn't bother 'teaching' them google drive, sheets, etc. Although I suppose most kids wouldn't be too familiar with mail merges and spreadsheet formulas.


I've been spinning some STEM curriculum ideas in my head for elementary aged kids for a while now (covering some very broad topics). I never seem to find the time to get them on paper in a form an elementary teacher could follow.


It's hard to offer advice without knowing a bit more about your background and if the kids are typical for that age range or much more scientifically inclined. Will many of the kids be likely to take both classes?


I was creating webpages and writing perl by age 9 entirely self taught. I think I was 11 the first time I wrote to someone at the IETF. There was a 12 year old in my college quantum physics class. My point is kids abilities at this age will vary a ton, so part of the challenge is to create things that scale or open their eyes to different ways of thinking about the world.


A couple things in particular that I've been thinking it would be interesting to teach to kids around this age are: feedback (possibly a bit more about control systems), sampling, and some basic physics (possibly using a programmable robot of some variety, integrating all of these concepts). Photography could be an interesting subject, you could probably get your hands on some dirt cheap old beat up film slr cameras which could be useful props. Even something like economics could be interesting.


There are lots of options for coding or basic electronics kits if you want to go that route. But for me the caveat is kids can play with these things without actually learning some of the concepts that might be a bit more transformative at this age. As an example I built a short wave radio kit in about kindergarten or first grade with my dad, but really didn't learn some of the related concepts I should have at the time.
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Last edited by jkee October 8, 2016 at 09:39 PM.
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#3
$100 isn't much to buy hardware for electronics - you could get a few cheap chinese arduinos and breadboards and do buttons/LEDs/etc. but I doubt there will be much learning as JKEE mentioned, i.e. it would probably be a "copy this and it works" - still fun, and you could mix it in with other stuff so they have something hands-on

you could also do some "creative engineering" and have them build the tallest tower out of index cards or similar, a bridge out of spaghetti, etc. and then "test" them (i.e. put pennies as weights on the spaghetti bridge and see how long it lasts) - guide them through by having them ask necessary questions (i.e. how long of a span should the bridge cover, how long should the tower stay "standing" in order for it to count, etc.)

Could try making pinhole cameras (most of the supplies you would want to "salvage" rather than buy, i.e. check a photo place and ask for "empty disposable cameras" or similar), will then blow most of the $ on film and developing the pictures

could try the craft rockets (either actual kits or a empty bottle + pressure, either air or metos) or downhill car races (i.e. block of wood sanded into a car)

if you have a local place you could try teaching CAD and having each of them design a 3d model and then getting it 3d printed for them

if you wanted you could either have them build a soma cube, or give them each one and have them assemble it

I am suggesting mostly physical stuff as I can't see a good place for digital stuff for spending $100 or so
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Last edited by slapshot136 October 9, 2016 at 07:10 AM.
#4
Quote from slapshot136 View Post :
$100 isn't much to buy hardware for electronics - you could get a few cheap chinese arduinos and breadboards and do buttons/LEDs/etc. but I doubt there will be much learning as JKEE mentioned, i.e. it would probably be a "copy this and it works" - still fun, and you could mix it in with other stuff so they have something hands-on
There are some pretty cheap electronics kits, most don't really involve that much learning. I agree that especially in a course this short that there are real limits to what you could teach / expect the kids to learn. A lot of the things you mentioned are more likely to be viewed as fun by the kids. I don't spend much time with 10 year olds these days.


The feedback idea I mentioned would take longer to do right. There are so many examples of feedback in the world around you. One of the simplest things you could demo would be damping and ringing with springs.
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#5
Quote from ElDorito View Post :
Someone mentioned raspberry pi, but not sure what I could do with that as far as teaching goes...
https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi...agPi50.pdf
This has the 50 most inspirational RPi projects
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#6
I think coding is a good thing and something I wish I would have had at that age. What age is basic typing skills taught these days? While not fun its critical skill. A Pi could go well with coding. Websites are kind of boring and do kids still make them with the advent of social media?

Photography is great but sounds like you probably need more resources than you have (Camers?)
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