Teaching Kids Programming update – from Molokai!

View from the balcony of our condo in Molokai

We’re on Molokai for 10 days, teaching kids to program.  We are here due to a travel grant (we are donating our time) from the MONA Foundation.  So, what are we up to here?

We are teaching both kids and teachers.  Each day our schedule is to either train teachers on how to use our TKP courseware with their kids or to directly train kids.

We have a busy schedule – today alone we taught 100 8th graders at Molokai Middle School for their second hour of Java.  Tomorrow we’ll be starting with a total of 60 K-3 students.  We’ll introduce them to programming using the visual game building environment of Kodu.

We also made some changes to our TKP website to support our work here and in the future.  I made a quick video (<2 min. recapping those changes).

5 thoughts on “Teaching Kids Programming update – from Molokai!

  1. Been having a look at TKP in SmallBasic, and my 9-year-old has been squealing with delight. But every time we run a program which uses the Tortoise we get an error popup “Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation” about five seconds after the program starts executing. The error doesn’t stop the program from executing, but it sure gets annoying having to move it out of the way, then close it. The problem doesn’t happen with GiantTortoise, only Tortoise.

  2. Glad to hear you and your son are enjoying the courseware. The reason for the exception is that the file proctor.txt in the lib dir contains a single line of configuration which you should update to point to an actual directory on the machine that you are running SmallBasic on. The configuration is for the virtual proctor functionality, which captures the output each time you run SmallBasic on that machine as a screenshot into that directory.

    We use the virtual proctor extensively when we teach live, group classes so that we can monitor the status of each pair of students.

    HTH – thanks for the feedback

  3. I tried a few things to make a default that would always work. I was surprised the windows temp folder shortcut %Temp%\ did not work. What did work was also surprising (I thought it would block due to permissions). I replaced the file with C:\Windows\Temp\stuff.{0}.png and it was able to run without incident, enabling me to avoid customizing each user.

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