It all started off as a hobby with me (Ajit) teaching programming languages to my son Aditya (then 8 years old).
So, we set out to do that .. but ended up with something different ..
Out of those initial efforts grew what is today feynlabs ..
I used to talk to Aditya about Richard Feynman - one of the greatest teachers, scientists and humanists
I was inspired by this specific quote from Richard Feynman “You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what its doing– that’s what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”
Some say that “Programming is the new Latin ..” – But we risk making the same mistakes ..
We risk teaching children merely ‘how to program’ instead of teaching kids how to think.
And the two are not the same.
To paraphrase Richard Feynman: we risk knowing the ‘name of the bird’ in many languages but risk understanding the bird itself ..
Concepts of programming languages is a set of techniques that teaches kids how to focus on the thought process behind programming languages .. i.e. to think ..
The cover image is from NASA because I once heard a NASA scientist say that space is one of the few things that unites humanity .. and I thought so does computer programming ..
The ideas behind concepts of programming languages for kids were published as a paper in the May 2012 edition of one of the leading educational journals Education technology publications. Educational Technology Magazine is the world’s leading periodical publication covering the entire field of educational technology, an area pioneered by the magazine’s editors in the early 1960s. Read by leaders in more than one hundred countries, the magazine has been at the forefront of every important new trend in the development of the field throughout the past five decades. Its list of published authors is a virtual “who’s who” of the leading personalities and authorities from all over the world active in educational technology research, development, and application.
We are pleased to get support from many amazing people over the brief time we launched it – Here are a few who have LIKED the page and the ideas
- Peter Vesterbacka – creator of Rovio(Angry birds) aka Mighty Eagle
- Prof Dr Walter Hoogland ex Director of research for CERN
- Jose Valles – Telefonica/BlueVia and we hope many more!
- Sep 15 2015 – Beta launch at the Lorentz center in Leiden – Holland at an event for the future of education at the Leiden University of Theoretical Physics
- Nov 2012 to Sep 2014 – trials, media coverage, successful Kickstarter, working with 400 teachers of Computer Science
- Nov 2012 - we confirm the three trials (Amsterdam, London and Liverpool) which will commence in 2013; we launch the feynlabs site; we announce a great team and advisers who have been helping us over the last year with the venture; Aditya and Ajit launch feynlabs at forumoxford (Oxford University); We are pleased to welcome Dr Andrew Eliasz – as mentor and adviser
- Oct 2012 – we reach 30,000 fans on facebook
- Aug 2012 – Lee Omar, Alex de Carvalho, Dr Tiija Rinta and Xi Sizhe all join the feynlabs team and we grow from a hobby to a company! Long term associates Tony Fish and Russell Buckley become advisers to feynlabs
- June 2012 – we launch on facebook. In two weeks we hit a 1000 fans. In the next week we double the number of fans
- May 2012 - Educational Technology Publications publishes our paper
- April 2012 – Aditya and I meet various people in New York who are interested in education and who also encourage us to explore the ideas further.
- Oct 2011 – Educational Technology Publications agrees to publish a paper about our approach
- March 2011 to Oct 2011 – the first attempts to teach Aditya computing by abstracting the concepts from multiple programming languages