Who are violet and purple and how are they related to computers?
Violet and Purple are two birds that live in Coyote hills and our course reflects their journey of imagination and learning as these birds venture into human colony and try to understand the technology they encounter. So, the course is full computer science course that actually uses the power of storytelling to connect with kid’s imagination so that complex concepts of programming and computers can be delivered in fun, simple and interactive way. At Violet Purple, we not only employ storytelling, but also music, drawing and building blocks to help kids express their creativity using programming. In fact, the whole beginner level program is designed with NO SCREEN TIME at all.
When are the kids going to learn Python or Java?
Eventually they would. We transition kids from visual programming language to block based languages like scratch and blocky at the intermediate level and eventually to higher level languages like Python and Java at Advanced level. But we recommend starting from beginner level where the basics are taught without the syntax of any high level languages. Frankly we are not sure if Python or Java would still be the language of choice when our kids grow up. But these basics would help them adapt to any high level syntax or abstraction as they would have good foundation and strong design thinking. We not only build their fundamentals, but we have an interactive lab or Makerspace for kids. Each concept is delivered at a time and kids get the opportunity to practice their learnings through the week in our makerspace through open projects.
Are teaching kids programming without computers or iPads?
Yes. There are a lot of programming concepts like instruction set, sequences, decisions, loops and even functions that can be taught without requiring any screen time. The amount of time kids are exposed to screens is already alarming, but as parents and teachers we also realize that technology has penetrated in every walk of life and career choice. We want our kids to develop basic analytical and design thinking right from an early age. Our revolutionary course focuses on these core concepts like programming, debugging, code reviews, algorithms, data structures, circuits, modeling and code repository and delivers them to kids in a playful collaborative environment allowing them to build real life relations and friendship. Instead of isolating them on the screens.
Could you explain more about this MAKERSPACE. How is it different than traditional computer labs?
Instead of having tradition computer screens where we used to sit and code , we have tried to incorporate a makerspace in Newark, CA where kids get to play and work in teams under supervised sessions. Here, they build mazes, draw using bots and make them dance to their songs while learning to solve problems and working in teams. The place provides with them latest 3D printers, drones, bots and VR oculus rift, arduino, in house projects to create a place appeals to their imagination and creativity.
Can you introduce this course in neighborhood school?
We are working with pilot schools to support the teachers in delivering this course to their students. We closely work with teachers and staff to provide the following:
Session material: Teacher’s guide to deliver the concepts that includes tools, format, sample scripts and videos, stories, problems and follow up questions.
Course book for students.
Gadgets/products that help deliver the course.
Guidelines on makerspace.
For more details, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 510-497-0974
In what ways does this workshop address how to contextualize STEAM learning?
At early age, kids learn the most through visual and interactive activities. Through the workshop, we try to demonstrate how to deliver computer science concepts that are abstract in nature through visual programming languages like flowcharts and state diagrams. The problems are presented in the form of stories/puzzles/mazes/choreography/drawings to evoke kids imagination to solve real life problems and promote build philosophy. They collaborate in teams to promote empathy and design thinking.
In what ways does this workshop intersect with concepts of equity and access in STEAM education?
Technology has penetrated in every choice of career. But it comes at a steep price and not every kid has access to latest technical gadgets at home. At public schools, kids from varied backgrounds come together to share and learn. The makerspaces help bring the costs of equipment/tools down to community level creating an equal opportunity for everybody to explore and build upon the technology. The course helps to carefully select and connect the tools available in the market to create a complete step by step pathway for computer learning.
Key takeaways: Computer Science beginner course: The market is flooded with all kind of STEAM related gadgets, bots and tools. It is overwhelming for educators to choose and build upon these tools. Moreover, each gadget is addressing part of the whole program, leaving a big gaps in continuous learning. We have woven a course that connects and builds a continuous learning pathway using best of market gadgets available today. Each gadget plays a role in delivering a concept and can be replaced tomorrow when new/better ones arrive in future keeping the course up to date. No screen for early grades. Replacing Ipads/laptops with interactive gadgets in early classrooms. How to scale makerspaces for kids: The essentials, cost estimates and learnings of effective designs to promote exploration and expose latest technology to kids.6.