Amazing how technology in education has evolved!!! Kids are now coding. Animations from inspirations drawn from cartoons, games and other leisure activities are now the fundamental inspirational banks for such programming activities like modifying Minecraft, building LEGO Mind storms, programming NAO robots, and more. And they are doing it in Java.
Volunteer computer professionals led sessions on a range of topics, to include child friendly beginner-level programming languages like Scratch and Alice, as well as moderately more complex ones like Greenfoot. Advanced learners could pick from sessions on more advanced tools such as Arduino, LEGO Mindstorms, Minecraft Modding.
Building a Java Community
Java is a great place to start, and Oracle offers numerous websites and tools to teach young people how to program using Java, based on the learner’s age and aptitude. These range from Scratch (for ages 5 to 15), a simple programming language with a drag- and-drop interface, to Alice (less simple for ages 8 to 22), a 3D educational software tool with a drag-and-drop interface for creating animations; to Greenfoot (less simple, for ages 13 to 25), a visual 2D educational software tool with a code editor for creating games and simulations.
Scratch, Alice, and Greenfoot are all Java-based tools that require no previous programming experience. Once students have cleared these initial programming hurdles, they can then move on to BlueJ, a professional Java development tool with a simplified interface for beginners, and then later to the NetBeans BlueJ Edition IDE (Integrated Development Environment).