Coders turned children’s writers

Last week I discovered a wonderful blog by programmer Jeremy Kubica.  Computational Fairy Tales teaches computer science concept though ingenious charming fairy tales.  My favourite is Hunting Dragons Through Binary Search, but Kubica is extremely prolific and seems to have tale for everything from recursion to parallel algorithms.

He’s not alone.  Today Wired Enterprise published a feature on Carlos Bueno a engineer who works for Facebook, but has just  written a children’s book, Lauren Ipsum, aimed at kids as young as 5 and as old as 12.  The article puts the book in the context of programming education initiatives like Scratch and Codecademy.  As Bueno explains, hands on coding is only part of the process. Metaphors are a key part of teaching computer science. They are the original code. “Stories are distilled knowledge taught through the ages,” he says.

This is good news for families learning to code.

The Dragon Eggs of digital literacy hatching!

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2 responses to “Coders turned children’s writers

  1. Thank you for the kind words! Just to let you know, the Computational Fairy Tales book is now available (both in print and on kindle). It includes revised stories from the online collection as well as all new stories.

  2. Thanks Jeremy. I will definitely take a look at it, and recommend it. You’ve inspired me quite a bit, Just the other day I found myself using the knots metaphor for functions. Although I’ve adapted it slightly to knitting, because knitting patterns are so obviously computational. Anyone who has ever decreased or increased a sleeve, is probably a step ahead in understanding recursion.

    BTW I know that Leng Lee at Codecademy really like your fairly tales too. Maybe you should contact them and see if there would ever be any way of including some of them in courses.

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