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Recommendations for teaching kids math concepts & skills for programming?

A non-programmer I know is looking into how to teach (and learn while teaching) programming to a 10-year-old. They've asked me for a bit of direction. I won't be participating myself (directly), as I don't know the kid and they're also out of state.

I've compiled a short list of possible courses and tools to use, which I won't list. (Someone care to post relevant questions?) A lot of them might work despite a normal kid's attention span and a non-programmer teaching. However, there's something that I feel is sorely missing from all of them: An explanation of actual computer systems, and the context of what a new programmer using a high level language is doing within them.

So I'm looking for copyable/linkable material that would give defensible answers to all of these questions, or at least really provoke asking of them:

  • What is a computer (in the abstract)?
  • What is a computer (in the modern sense)?
    • Hopefully at least gloss over machine code.
  • How does an OS/interpreter/compiler work? (i.e. that they are programs built some way)
  • How does "the internet" work (high level)?
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marked as duplicate by gnat, Walter, Jim G., Glenn Nelson, Dynamic Dec 28 '12 at 15:06

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1 Answer

I would go with Wikipedia. It has the answer to all of your questions. For just simple definitions, take the first paragraph on each page. But the pages are detailed enough for anyone to dig into the topics.

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When working with children, one might consider using the simple english version of Wikipedia - simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer –  MichaelT Dec 28 '12 at 15:13
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