Pluralsight Releases Its First Free Programming Courses Designed for Kids
Online Developer Education Site Creates Custom Web-based Curriculum as a Fun and Engaging Way to Introduce Kids to Basic Programming
LAYTON – Pluralsight, a leader in online education for software developers, announced today that it has released two new, free courses -- “Teaching Kids Programming” and “Learning How to Program with Scratch” -- specifically created to teach programming to kids in elementary, middle and high school. Pluralsight has teamed with professional programmers Lynn Langit and Llewellyn Falco of the non-profit organization Teaching Kids Programming (TKP) to develop a custom version of their curriculum for teaching kids how to program.
Recognizing a fundamental lack of technology training in schools throughout the U.S., Pluralsight for the first time is providing parents and instructors with free online tools and a hands-on approach to more effectively teach the basics of computer programming to kids. With the release of its new free courses, Pluralsight aims to inspire its more than 200,000 users around the world, who are all professional developers themselves, to teach computer programming in their homes and perhaps even at their local elementary,middle and high schools.
“As the online education space, a potential trillion-dollar segment, and industries upgrade technologies to stay competitive in a global economy, we feel an obligation to provide free educational resources around computer programming that can be incorporated into the school environment and introduced to kids at an early age,’’ said Aaron Skonnard, CEO and co-founder of Pluralsight. “These new experiential courses are easy for parents and instructors to teach, allowing them to track, with each lesson, how kids are progressing.”
“Teaching Kids Programming,” developed by Langit and Falco, is a set of free, open source courseware that quickly and clearly guides students through the basics of programming. The Pluralsight version of TKP courseware, specifically designed with professional programmers in mind, teaches children how to program using Visual Studio and C#. Designing programs for kids ages 10 and up, Langit consulted her own eighth grade daughter, Samantha, to help develop the courses in order to create intuitive, kid-friendly methods to translate fundamental programming concepts to her target audience. The “Teaching Kids Programming” Pluralsight course is based on the authors’ already successful courseware, available in other languages such as Java and SmallBasic, now in use by select schools as a custom teacher and kid-guided video-based curriculum that is easy to set up and replicable by nearly anyone.
“Kids are taught to consume technology and not to create it. Our goal is to fix that,” said Langit. “My partner, Llewellyn, and I firmly believe that programming should be a core skill taught in elementary, middle and high schools across the globe, which is why we looked to Pluralsight to help us reach worldwide scale with our free courseware for kids.”
“Learning How to Program with Scratch,” created by Dr. Joe Hummel, provides a fun, interactive, and easy way for kids and adults alike to learn programming and enhance their computer science and math skills. In just 15 minutes, this free course shows kids how to start building complex programs like computer games. With only a few hours of coursework, users will learn the core skills and principles needed to be successful in just about every major programming language.
Pluralsight has attracted a world-renowned team of contributors -- all experts, authors, and sought-after speakers in their respective fields -- who deliver the most advanced and effective online educational experiences available today. Founded in 2004 as a classroom-based training company, Pluralsight began a major pivot to move its training business completely online in 2008 to provide high-quality, professional content through a flexible subscription model priced for worldwide scale. Today, Pluralsight has more than 200,000 users in more than 100 countries and offers anytime, anywhere access to its entire library of more than 400 web-based courses for as little as $29 a month.
Pluralsight’s new free courses for kids are part of a larger effort by the company to expand its course library by over 100 percent again in 2013 to provide more breadth and depth in topic areas of interest to software developers such as Java, Android, iOS, Ruby, PHP, and Python, as well as cloud platforms like Force.com, Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine, and Windows Azure, with a goal of reaching 1,000 courses by year end 2013. For more information on Pluralsight’s new free courses for kids or a full list of courses, please visit: http://www.pluralsight.com/training/courses.