Programming or coding can be a difficult thing to accomplish for an adult, much less a child. Nobody knows this better than coding teacher Linda Liukas, who is looking to introduce children to the aspects of programming and technology through a children's storybook.
The book, known as Hello Ruby, features a main character known as Ruby, who has a huge imagination and goes on adventures in a fantasyland filled with wonders such as glass castles, lonely snow leopards, and robots. She gets help with solving problems from incredibly intelligent penguins, bakes gingerbread with green robots, and throws garden parties all with the aspect of introducing children to the magical world of coding.
Linda Liukas's Hello Ruby children's story for program learning.
The idea behind the book is that children are often able learn new things through storytelling rather than tackling the fundamentals head-on with cognitive thinking. The future of technology will undoubtedly go hand in hand with programming, and new initiatives in schools all over the globe are looking to teach children about coding for high-demand jobs in the coming decades.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT and programming jobs will increase by 32% by the year 2020, which roughly translates to a few billion dollars in revenue. It's safe to say that the children of today will one day become the programmers of tomorrow, so early education in that job field will better prepare them for those jobs.
Linda sees software coding as a form of expression, creativity, and practical application, and kids should learn how to bend, join, break, and combine that code in ways it was not meant to be. Think of it like kids using crayons on coloring books, which oftentimes results in coloring outside the lines. Hello Ruby will not flat-out teach children how to program but rather introduce them to coding fundamentals, such as sequences, loops, and conditionals.
It comes with an accompanying activity book that expands on the programming fundamentals with puzzles, doodles, and even a foldable laptop that allows kids to see the technology that is housed inside it. To get the funding to make her idea come alive, Linda turned to Kickstarter to raise a modest goal of $10,000, which was achieved within hours of going live. A few days later the funding rose to over $250,000, so she plans to include a downloadable parent's guide to go along with the activity book.
With Hello Ruby becoming increasingly popular all over the globe (Linda has had requests to translate the book into 20 different languages), she decided to raise the funding to $500,000 in an effort to create a mobile app to go along with the book. Those looking to get their hands on Hello Ruby can pledge $10 (which nets you an e-book version) and up ($40 nets you a hardcover version plus the workbook) over on Linda's Kickstarter page.