kids

Report and results from our Youth In Open Source Week

Event report

Opensource.com held its first Youth in Open Source Week from January 13 - 17, 2014. Articles published during this time were focused on how kids and teens are using open source today and how we can get more young people involved in open source.

We announced this series by publishing an article on Friday, January 10, 2014. This article was updated throughout the week as new articles were published. It now contains the full list of articles published for Youth in Open Source Week (YOSW).

During the week of January 13 - 17, we published nine articles as part of the series. We also published three regular articles for a total of 12 articles published during that week. » Read more

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Four projects for parents to teach their kids about open hardware and electronics

open hardware and eletronics for kids

Kids are quick learners and have great imaginations. When pursuing an electronic or hardware project with a kid, the most important thing to keep in mind is: keep things playful. As long as their hands are in gunk and they are taking things apart, or there's the possibility of blowing something up, kids will stay interested. As soon as the activity starts to seem like work, they switch off.

Here are four fun and easy projects for teaching kids more about electronics and hardware in a couple hours or an afternoon. Then, they may be on to the Arduino board or Raspberry Pi before you know it! Note: For kids between 4 - 8 years old, more adult supervision may be required.

First, I'll share with you three excellent businesses where you can purchase open hardware tools, kits, and electronics for these projects and more. » Read more

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The Digital Girl of the Year dreams of dancing with robots

digital girl of the year

Lune van Ewijk is ten years old and already a role model for kids and adults alike. Last year, she won the Digital Girl of the Year 2013 award from the European Commision, who had this to say about her:

Lune develops her own games and interactive movies, designs robots, and dreams of becoming an engineer. At ten years of age, she is already a true digital visionary and already has a track-record of getting girls her age excited about digital endeavour.

Her message to the world: be you and don't give up.

Lune is part of CoderDojo Belgium, where she has learned and practiced a variety of open source digital skills like programming in Scratch. In this interview find out more about CoderDojos, the work she's done, the award she's won, and what she sees in her future. » Read more

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What open source means to a young programmer

youth programming for open source

I’m a 15 year old programmer. I started at nine and by now have written a lot of code. To me, programming is creating, and I've created many projects—from a pure Java 3D projection engine to a web spider. Today, I'm sharing my story with you for Opensource.com's Youth in Open Source Week.

» Read more

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Four Linux distros for kids

Linux operating systems for kids

I can see the brightness of curiosity in my six year old niece Shuchi's eyes when she explores a mobile phone or manipulates the idiot box with its remote control or becomes creatively destructive with any other electronic device. She, like a lot of kids her age, love experimenting.

This curiosity reaches its peak when she sits in front of my laptop or her father's laptop. A lot of times, however, I observe that she is lost in complicated applications that are suitable only to adults. An operating system that an adult uses and the system running it can look like a beast to a lot of kids. These applications are beyond the comprehension of very young kids and do not provide an ideal (and playful) introduction to computers. Futher, adults' laptops and tablets do not serve as a good learning environment for any kid (younger or older) who is just onboarding into the world of computing. Besides, letting a kid run wild on a computer with an online connection can be daunting for the parents. » Read more

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On Europe's first Code Week with Irish Ambassador Julie Cullen

kids and teens in open source

The first Europe Code Week was held two months ago at schools and CoderDojos in 26 countries around Europe—Ireland and Croatia being the most active. The event was launched to help increase the knowledge shared with school-age children about coding, computer science, and technology by The Young Advisors (a group of young people dedicated to advancing a digital society working closely with the Vice President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes).

During the events, kids from schools all over Europe used Scratch, Arduino boards, and other open source software and hardware to build thier projects (including robots)!  

Each country that took part in Europe Code Week appointed an Ambassador to lead their event. I reached out to Ireland’s Julie Cullen, a teacher at St. Oliver’s College, Drogheda, Co. Louth, to get her take on the event. In this interview, Julie shares just how excited the kids were to work with code and computers, what open source software they hacked on, and what projects got underway. She also tells us what’s in store for this year’s #codeEU 2014.

» Read more

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Youth in Open Source Week

Youth in Open Source Week

Our first-ever Youth in Open Source Week at Opensource.com was January 13 - 17, 2014!

We were excited to offer you a solid week of content focused on how kids and teens are using open source today. See the full list of articles here.

» Read more

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Why children should learn to code, even if they don't have a future in IT

Teaching your children open source skills

By day, Red Hat product manager Burr Sutter works to make developers more successful and productive with open source tools, technologies, and techniques. So it's no surprise that he wants to ensure his own children know how to solve technical problems as well. So when summer vacation rolled around this year, Sutter encouraged his son to complete some courses on CodeAcademy and to sign up for a couple of iD Tech Camps.

In this interview, Sutter talks about why he wants his children to know how to fix the tech tools they use every day, how he balances that with other "kid" activities, and more. Parents who are looking for a way to get their children to learn code, to fix their computers, or just learn how online communities work may pick up some tips from Sutter's experiences. » Read more

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Open source programs to get more kids to code

open source coding

At OSCON this year, Regina ten Bruggencate and Kim Spiritus gave a talk called How To Get More Kids To Code. I got in late (I was waiting in line to get a free signed copy of The Art of Community by Jono Bacon) so I missed the beginning of this session, but came in as they were demoing Scratch. This is a website where kids can play little games (available in 40 languages) and then click the 'See inside' button to see the code behind the game in a kid friendly way. It’s a great way to get kids to see code and learn not just programming, but the concepts of open source.

» Read more

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Beat Making Lab partners with PBS Digital Studios to expand reach of music education

music infinity

In the next step of their mission to spread the magic of making music, Beat Making Lab has partnered with PBS Digital Studios to produce web episodes of the work they are doing with youth in Africa.

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