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Computer Programming Classes
updated: Jan 19, 2013, 6:30 PM

My 9 year old loves computers, so I would like to get him into programming. Does anyone have any info on computer programming or multimedia classes for kids here in Santa Barbara? We tried ID Tech camp over the summer, but I was wondering if there are any after school programs, or something that is not limited to just summertime?

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 COMMENT 365366 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-19 06:51 PM

If your school doesn't have this resource and does have vegetable garden, now you know why the US is falling behind.


 COMMENT 365376P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-19 07:05 PM

... and all of that money that was cut from schools, because of what the Wall Street computers did?


 COMMENT 365382 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-19 07:18 PM

There are not a lot of teachers with a high skill level in computers. There are outside volunteers available but the rules are so restrictive nobody wants the hassle.


 COMMENT 365386 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-19 07:26 PM

376P - So easy to blame Wall Street for our schools failures. The fact is, we spend more money on schools NOW than we ever have in our history. And if money was the only issue, the government press could fix that quick.

OP - If you're having trouble finding local resources, online sites like Khan Academy, have great video lessons to help him get started.


 COMMENT 365394P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-19 08:04 PM

365386 - try sticking to the facts. What you have stated is simply not true.

"States have made steep cuts to education funding since the start of the recession and, in many states, those cuts deepened over the last year. Elementary and high schools are receiving less state funding in the 2012-13 school year than they did last year in 26 states, and in 35 states school funding now stands below 2008 levels — often far below. "

And as for the government presses - they are feeding the huge war machine, whose adventures in the ME were supposed to cost very little and take less than 6 months.

Wall Street shenanigans affected the whole world economy, so have the unfunded wars and unfunded tax cuts. Schools have had to pay the price.

Just the facts!


 COMMENT 365402 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-19 08:32 PM

OP here thanks for all the comments. But does anybody have any info regarding my original question?

386, thanks for the online tip!


 COMMENT 365418P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-19 11:57 PM

Scratch (from MIT) is a good starter programming language for kids. Gamemaker is also a good starter or next step. Both are free to download and there are tutorials available.

If you have money to spend (ID Tech Camp indicates you do), Mindstorms from LEGO has a graphical programming tool, and there are summer camps that use that locally (play-well.org and campgobotics.com) and some FIRST LEGO League teams in the schools.

After the starter languages, you might consider Python as a first "real" coding language. Again it's free and there are online tutorials. www.artofproblemsolving.com has very good online classes.

There used to be Whiz Kidz in the Turnpike shopping center for things like this, but they went out of business a few years back.

I don't know much about local multimedia classes, though it seems like those would be easier to find, especially summer camps, than coding classes.


 COMMENT 365452 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 08:08 AM

Try codecademy online


 COMMENT 365454 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 08:22 AM

MIT Open Courseware has an excellent, free on-line course taught by the Chancellor of MIT entitled Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. You can download the Python programming language used in this course free for either the Mac or PC and get started. There are video lectures, homework, support groups, etc. There is also a load of information and tutorials on the Python programming language available at their websites and an excellent support group on Google.

Another good source of programming instruction for beginners is at Khan Academy that also is free.

Get started and good luck.


 COMMENT 365466 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 08:35 AM

May I suggest a raspberry?

A good place to start.


And a programming book



 COMMENT 365556 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 12:49 PM

I offer an after-school enrichment program in mathematics for interested and advanced kids (SBFamilySchool.com). Occasionally I get requests for computer programming classes, too, which I could do, but it's hard to get new classes organized in the middle of the year.


 BECKY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 01:02 PM

Some of the kids I know who became programmers did it by getting a part-time job (for free, usually) in a computer store or with a computer programming company. If your child is focused and disciplined (unusual for a 9 year old, but required in this case), the owner and employees will show him/her how to do some of their simpler tasks, supervise/ teach them, and encourage them on how to learn more on their own. Everyone wins, as they get motivated "free" labor -- it costs them time -- and your child gets to see what real programmers do. If your child produces more than s/he costs, the owners keep them around and allow them to continue to learn.


 COMMENT 365613P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 03:37 PM

try Lynda.com, you might find an appropriate training module on there.


 COMMENT 365653 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 05:56 PM

Thanks all for the comments, truly appreciated!


 SBBEEBOY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-21 06:55 AM


This just opened in the funk zone. Check to see if your kid could be a candidate.


 COMMENT 478570 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-19 09:14 AM

Looking for the same thing as the OP - we have a home-schooled 14 year old boy who is interested in computers and gaming (which 14YO boy isn't?). Wondering if anyone has had experience with youth interactive. Browsing the web site it appears that the focus is on "underserved and underprivileged" kids, which I don't think describes our son (unless you ask him!)…

Any other suggestions? Since this thread is from almost a year ago, I'm hoping there may be some good feedback or other ideas…. Thanks!



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