How to teach programming to students today

There's a hot discussion taking place today about how to get young students interested in programming. And not just interested, but loving it! Teachers and administrators have been battling this challenge for years, but the fact is that engaging students early in technical areas such as Computer Studies is difficult to impossible, beyond perhaps one or two engineering-obsessed students in the school.

However, with the number of IT-related jobs growing by the thousands every year, and the tremendous need for mobile app developers for the long term, it’s more important than ever to make Computer Studies as fundamental in K-12 curriculum as math, language, or science. While it may sound impossible to get children to grasp the relevance of web and desktop development early on, the abundance of mobile apps and games have created new opportunities for educators.

Children are drawing, playing games, and watching videos on their parents’ mobile phones before learning their ABCs. They begin to show interest in tinkering with devices in grade school. (Remember being the only one in your family who could program the TV remote when you were a kid?) Many students want to create, build and fix anything they can get their hands on, but immediate gratification and relevance to their lives are critical factors for getting and keeping them engaged. And a little fun thrown in helps a bunch.

Students as young as 10 are grasping the fundamentals of technology development, and teaching these young tinkerers to create simple games and mobile apps is helping breath new life into Computer Science curricula. At the core of much of this newfound passion for programming is LiveCode. The easy-to-use platform makes it simple for educators to learn the language, and, for the first time, students just get it!

In response to the growing success of LiveCode in education, we've created a new RunRev Education Microsite. The site offers case studies, course materials for all grade levels, teacher training materials, forums and support, and free trials – everything educators needs to get started with LiveCode.

Take a look at some of the interesting case studies from grade school on through university level where teachers are engaging and exciting students by having them create their own apps. Here's how one K-12 educator and his students are using LiveCode today. We have a few videos on LiveCode in education and encourage you to share your own stories.

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