Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

+1 for block-programming, even for older kids/teenagers. I taught a high school CS class using Snap.

At first, I thought it was silly to teach "drag & drop" programming and would have preferred a high-level scripting language. But, after teaching 2 semesters of Snap and observing classes in Java, I'm a huge fan.

2 main reasons:

1. Time-to-cool-result is really low. The first project was a Mario-like game. Less than 10 hours from "never programmed" to "built Mario game" is a really powerful first experience. (Demo: http://snap.berkeley.edu/snapsource/snap.html#present:Userna...)

2. Syntax and compiler errors are really confusing. When I walked around the Java class, most kids were asking questions about how to fix their syntax errors. In my class, most of the questions were conceptual.

It's easier to go back and learn a "real" language after you understand the high-level concepts and have seen how cool programming is.

If you want the resources I used, feel free to ping me (adamaflynn@gmail.com).

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact