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"Give them simple partially completed programs that they can modify. ... Do NOT lecture to them or try to do long demos."

YES. I wish I could upvote this more. Curiosity is a powerful drive for learning, and when kids are allowed to pursue their own line of questioning and tinkering, the questions asked are more "personal" and the information learned IMO is more likely to be retained.

The "zero-entry pool" that Scratch provides is also important (how many kids want to spend a lot of time setting up their development environment?), but I think the tinkering is key. Kids who are simply content to tinker with what is provided will stay at that level; the ones who are truly interested in going beyond that stage will begin asking questions and driving beyond what has been provided.




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