I am a geek, activist, volunteer, writer, mentor, student, teacher who is passionate about technology and social justice.
I teach: Technology, Video Game Design, Computer Science
To ages: 9 to 22+
The Hummingbird Robotics kit is a great way to introduce students to robotics, electronics & coding while emphasizing creativity and endless possibilities. The kit comes with all the standard robot gear pre-wired: LEDs, sensors, motors & servos. These components easily plug into the controller. Add arts & crafts supplies to create a robot theater, animatronic creature, kinetic sculpture, etc. Get your robot moving by coding it with MIT’s Scratch environment.
jQuery Mobile is a touch-optimized framework to create a responsive website. Learning how to incorporate it into website development provides a great way to introduce mobile web applications to students. Some HTML & CSS experience is helpful.
Code.org has put together a great tutorial to help anyone (students & teachers) get familiar with computer science concepts. It includes both unplugged and on-screen activities with lots of detailed lesson plans and video tutorials.
The MaKey MaKey is super easy to use. It encourages creative thinking and using lots of different materials for human computer interaction. It also makes computer science concepts concrete by making them hands-on learning experiences. MaKey MaKeys can be reused and can be easily shared while trying out projects, so you don’t need one per student.
Corona SDK Starter is free & let’s you develop mobile apps for practically any platform. It uses a programming language called LUA and has a bit of a learning curve, but there are lots of resources to help you get started.
Build simple mobile apps on the iPad.
Learn the mechanics of game design as you sketch out your own game. This tool is easy to use and very engaging for kids. It’s great hands-on experience for kids to problem solve and collaborate.
Cargo-Bot is a puzzle game where you teach a robot how to move crates. It gives kids hands-on experience with computer science concepts like logic and problem solving.
Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor.
piq is a great little online editor to create pixel art. Kids love it!
Stencyl is a Scratch-inspired video game design tool for creating iOS & flash games.
Mozilla Thimble tools make remixing websites fun and engaging while giving students experience learning HTML and CSS.
SNAP! is a mod to Scratch that provides even more programming options for those ready to push beyond the boundaries of Scratch, plus it is all online and works with the iPad.
NetLogo is an open source modeling environment developed at Northwestern University. It provides a great way to introduce students (4th grade and up) to programming concepts such as syntax and procedures.
Pencil Animation is an open source 2D animation/drawing software tool. It provides a great introduction into the world of animating.
Paint.Net is a free basic image editor for the PC. It's simple to use and is a great alternative when you don't need all the bells and whistles of a professional image editor.
Seashore is an open source basic image editor for the Mac. It's simple to use and is a great alternative when you don't need all the bells and whistles of a professional image editor.
MentorMob has given me an outlet to help demystify computer science and share some of my favorite technology tools for learning and creating. I have found that creating playlists has helped me focus on a particular objective, whether it is just raising awareness or encouraging a learner to actually create something of their own. Not only does MentorMob provide this great tool for sharing resources, but it comes with a built-in community of collaborators. Finally, it has been a pleasure to interact with the MentorMob staff, who are clearly committed and passionate about their platform.
This is an easy to use, free screencasting tool that you can download for Mac & PC.
Gamestar Mechanic is an online game design platform where students (MS and up) learn to design games by playing games. New gamers go on quests to earn sprites, blocks and backgrounds while learning how to create their own games.
Alice is open source software that teaches students (MS and up) programming concepts through a 3D environment.
Flora is an arduino-based wearable electronic platform from Adafruit. Sew circuits with conductive thread then code sensors and LEDs to bring your wearable creations to life!