> Learning Programming via Interactive Games!
Great resources for learning programming interactively via playing games!
Over time, I've realized the importance of making technical concepts "fun" to encourage students to continue learning and growing on their own time (whether it be in math, science, engineering, art, writing, history, media, etc.). Personally, I've found that the most motivating resources for me was learning through games.
For example, I got into robotics and engineering because my 8th grade science class had a module on Lego Mindstorms. The process of building and programming my very own robot was so fun, that had it not been for that class, I'm not sure if I would have gotten into software engineering!
Additionally, the first time I was introduced to the concept of programming was when I was in 5th grade, customizing shop templates in HTML in order to make my Neopets shop look nicer. I remember spending hours figuring how to format the HTML without ever understanding what all the weird symbols meant. However, the point is, I was figuring things out and trying to make things work. That's the beauty of learning through games. Oftentimes, you don't even realize that you're learning, because it's just FUN. Who knew that trying to make a random website look prettier would be more interesting than studying for an AP Test?
Overall, I see the above experiences reflected in the way I personally prefer to introduce new concepts to students when I first teach them how to code. I have always been an avid supporter of play-based learning through visually interactive, gamified, application-focused, tangible activities, and now I see why! I firmly believe that even as adults, we shouldn't have to stop learning and playing. As adults, we're all just giant kids at heart anyways :)
Here are some fun presentations regarding the theory behind play-based learning:
- The Super Mario Effect - Tricking Your Brain into Learning More | Mark Rober
- How the Best Hackers Learn Their Craft | David Brumley
Here are some YouTube Makers I personally really look up to:
Below are some resources that I have found useful in learning programming through games!
Learn a New Coding Language
Flexbox Froggy (CSS Flexbox)
Grid Garden (CSS Grid)
CSS Diner (CSS Selectors)
VIM Adventures (vim)
Learn How to “Think” Like a Programmer via Drag-And-Drop Coding
Scratch (Create Your Own Games)
*Human Resource Machine (Algorithmic Thinking)
*Lego Mindstorms ev3 (Build-and-Play Robotics)
picoCTF (Intro to Capture-the-Flag Competitions)