#1 Edited by OldManLight (844 posts) -

Hey all,

I'm the IT guy for my church and their affiliated christian school. In a couple weeks, i'm supposed to speak to several groups of 6th grade girls and boys about why computer skills and the internet are important things for them to know about. Some of them play console games so that's an easy jumping off point but i'm having trouble tapping into my 6th grader mindset in order to think of other ways to make the information more interesting and develop interesting talking points. Any suggestions?

#2 Posted by Icicle7x3 (1180 posts) -

Have them play Oregon Trail.

#3 Posted by OldManLight (844 posts) -

@Icicle7x3: i think that's the problem, i've seen the stuff they are made to do while in the computer lab and it looks super boring.

#4 Posted by ThunderSlash (1724 posts) -

Force them to play Fallout with all their stats pumped into computers. But seriously, I think kids these days know a whole lot more about computers and the internet than kids back then. Minecraft maybe?

#5 Posted by OldManLight (844 posts) -

@ThunderSlash: haha, "yeah, you see that door, well that wouldn't have opened for you if you didn't know computers"

#6 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4207 posts) -

MarbleBlast Ultra, theres that old PS2 sniper game, World of Goo, CodeHero.. I guess I'm not very sure if you're talking about games they should be learning and stuff. Gizmos and Gadgets..

#7 Posted by Lotan (217 posts) -

You could talk about gadgets, kids love gadgets. Maybe show them a game and speak to how high math skills are needed to program the game.

#8 Posted by Fredddi43 (331 posts) -

Download some open-source game where the source code is freely available, show it to them, compile it in front of their eyes, and blow their minds what some lines of text can do!

#9 Posted by OldManLight (844 posts) -

@Fredddi43: that's actually a pretty good idea. They're at the stage now where they're learning how to type and enter data into a computer so that would actually be a cool example to show . Keep the ideas coming all, i'm open to suggestions.

#10 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4207 posts) -

Mm, Deus ex Machina? There was "I Love Bees," to promote Halo 2, where people had to work together and compile code to figure out info about the game. Portal 2 did the same thing where all these people were looking through the updated Portal 1 source code, or something, and working together to make fragments of a screenshot for the upcoming game. ACIII is doing the same where if you find all the pivot points it makes a hexadecimal code that translates to binary, and its stops there since no one yet can figure out what the code leads to..

Hope this helps..

#11 Posted by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

I don't know, by grade 6 I was already diving headfirst into the world of computers, begging the parents for my first clone. If they aren't into it by then, they're a lost cause if you ask me.

Maybe tell them that if they stick to computers for another 10-13 years or so, they can become internet billionaires Zuckerberg-style and never have to work again.

#12 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

It'll help them watch porn and listen to Marilyn Manson.

#13 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

Y2J

#14 Edited by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

Create a small program to automatically solve some of the math problems they are currently learning. That's what I did when I was 14. I would start busting out console applications in C++ to solve my math homework for me. Not only did it help me learn how to program, but it also helped me learn the formulae better. You need to give them real world examples. You could try the open source game route, but I would practice actually modifying the code to do something else and show that off to them. Kids won't really understand if they just see some text and a compile progress bar. However, if you can actually show them a modification like changing a game mechanic and then compiling that, it may better more worth your while.

Kids are assholes and take too much shit for granted. You need to actually "wow" them.

#15 Posted by psylah (2177 posts) -

@MikkaQ: By grade 6 I discovered that computers could be used to summon infinite pornography.

Needless to say, I ended up in the IT field.

#16 Posted by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

@psylah said:

@MikkaQ: By grade 6 I discovered that computers could be used to summon infinite pornography.

Needless to say, I ended up in the IT field.

Yeah when you're given that much power in grade 6 it's pretty hard to give it up.

#17 Posted by psylah (2177 posts) -
@MikkaQ

@psylah said:

@MikkaQ: By grade 6 I discovered that computers could be used to summon infinite pornography.

Needless to say, I ended up in the IT field.

Yeah when you're given that much power in grade 6 it's pretty hard to give it up.

So much power...

In the palms of my hands.
#18 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

Y2J

Is that supposed to be Jesus' new boy band?

#19 Posted by CoverlessTech (746 posts) -

Don't show them games, no offence to anyone here who suggested a game but that is a stupid idea.

Show them cool stuff. Write and compile some code, something simple like a hello world gui where they can put in their name and they program would talk directly to them. That will make them feel like part of the lecture.

Show them some stuff you can do with multiple computers, maybe set up a file share on one and access the files from a different computer. Or set multiple computers up with synergy and use one set of keyboard and mouse to control multiple computers.

Set up a basic web page that they can edit and view, maybe add pictures to it ect.

Computer Science, IT, ect are all about problem solving. Maybe try to throw some logic riddles at them.

#20 Posted by bobafettjm (1487 posts) -

One of the things I do for my job is teaching kids different things about computers. One of the projects that we do is creating music with Acid Pro, and they absolutely love doing that. Another thing we do is I put the old Unreal Engine game Nerf Arena Blast on the computers and they use the level editing tool to not only create their own levels, but also do some modifying scripts.

We use some other software and some other projects, but what I always try and do to get them interested from the start is to find a really cool example of something that was made using similar techniques to show them what is completely possible and to make them feel like if they just stick with using these skills that they can also create something just as cool.

#21 Posted by Gregomasta (1541 posts) -

@psylah said:

@MikkaQ

@psylah said:

@MikkaQ: By grade 6 I discovered that computers could be used to summon infinite pornography.

Needless to say, I ended up in the IT field.

Yeah when you're given that much power in grade 6 it's pretty hard to give it up.

So much power... In the palms of my hands.

There's alot of stuff in the palms of my hands.

#22 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

Y2J

Is that supposed to be Jesus' new boy band?

New? Where have you been?

#23 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@NlGHTCRAWLER:

Where have you been? J-Boy's Dozen Ds haven't been around since the 30s. They were getting too stale, and Jesus needed a break from the whole scene. I've heard that he's coming back as a solo artist under the Y2J label, though.

#24 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

MAKE THEM HACKERZ!

#25 Posted by csl316 (8665 posts) -

Because pretty much everything you do now requires some sort of understanding of technology. School work, work work, downloading newfangled "apps".

#26 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER:

Where have you been? J-Boy's Dozen Ds haven't been around since the 30s. They were getting too stale, and Jesus needed a break from the whole scene. I've heard that he's coming back as a solo artist under the Y2J label, though.

Ewwww... I thought we were talking about actual Jesus.

#27 Posted by WaylonJennings (104 posts) -

Try grammar first.

#28 Posted by DarthOrange (3862 posts) -

Give them a screw driver and tell them to take apart a computer. Then tell them to put it back together or their parents will have to pay for it.

#29 Posted by ShaggE (6452 posts) -

Run in, arms waving, and yell "ALL OF THE VIJEO JAMES! THAT'S WHY YOU SHOULD COMPUTERS!".