«Experiences introducing the teaching of programming in Primary, Early Childhood and Secondary Education»




Raquel Hijón-Neira


The interest in children learning to program has grown exponentially in recent years. For four years we have been trying effective ways to bring programming to the Primary and PreSchool Education classrooms. This talk explains the experiences carried out to bring the programming closer to the Primary and PreSchool Education classrooms: proposed methodologies, applications and programs used and developed, different approaches, different types of interaction and results obtained in both stages, as well as some experiences to support the introduction of programming in Secondary Education and future work. In Primary Education, results are presented in which significantly better results have been observed using different approaches and ways of interaction depending on factors such as age (144 children between 9 and 12 years old). Another experience with children of these ages demonstrates a significant increase in learning basic programming concepts (32 different schools, 133 children between 9 and 12 years old). In Early Childhood Education from 4 years significant improvements are obtained in the realization of basic programs (go from a point X to Y) with the Cubetto robot, and from 3 years in the resolution of exercises of programming stories (sequence, pattern, decomposition and loop) of "Hello Ruby" (442 children from two different schools between 3-5 years old). In Secondary Education in two different experiences of introduction to programming with systems developed ad-hoc significant improvements are observed with minor intervention periods (160 children between 12 and 14 years old).




Author's Biography

Raquel Hijón-Neira

Raquel Hijón-Neira is an Assistant Professor at the Higher Technical School of Computer Engineering, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid. She has received the European PhD degree in Computer Science in 2010. Dr Hijón-Neira also has received the Best Thesis Award by Spanish Chapter of the IEEE Education Society. Se has worked as a computer scienci engineer consultant for 5 years and as a teacher at university for 20 years. She is a member of the Laboratory of Information Technologies in Education (LITE). Her researching areas are software and innovation, programming education, educational technologies, gamification and serious games.




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