The President of the United States recently made a public service announcement about computer science.

obama_code

I was happy to see him get behind yet another STEM initiative. But there was one thing that bothered me about his words. He addressed them specifically to young men and women. I prefer this PSA because they say it “…doesn’t matter how old you are…”

hour_of_code

In a Telegraph article last year about adults learning to code , reporter Emma Mulqueeny explained,

A good understanding of computational thinking is where you start… There are so many free resources out there to teach yourself basic-, medium- and advanced-level programming – resources which teach you how to build a game, how to code a website, or how to build a mobile app if that takes your fancy.

It’s like music. You can choose your instrument from a wide variety of computing languages and tools. You can choose what style of music to play, and whether to learn through understanding sheet music and the theory, or by thumping about a bit and sounding awful, making mistakes until you manage to bang out Chopsticks.

I would also say it takes a little faith in yourself to learn a new skill. But she’s certainly right about free resources! Here are just a few of them.

code_academyCode Academy’s codeyear

ocw MIT’s Introduction to Computer Science and Programming

edxHarvard’s Introduction to Computer Science

khanKhan Academy

code_org http://code.org/learn

If you want to learn about hardware in addition to software, take a look at Raspberry Pi, a credit-card-sized single-board computer developed in the UK.

There are also some cool game/toy-related programming options if you’re still a child at heart or want to learn programming with your kids:

MindstormsLego Mindstorms

Play-I Untitled

MineCraftminecraft-logo

Choose an “instrument” and start playing! Become part of the symphony of programming sisters ready to contribute to the open source family tree project!

January first will be here before you know it. If you’ve been meaning to learn some programming skills, why not make it a New Year’s resolution? We’ll help hold you accountable, if you comment here. Or if you decide to start mid-year after doing your own research regarding educational resources, please share them here with us.

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One Response to Who Says You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

  1. Teri Centner Teri Centner says:

    I found a link to this other short video about code and coding on Twitter, so I thought I’d share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxv0-sggnqA#t=54

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