A little while ago I was given the opportunity to teach a one-off class at my daughter’s school. I’d long thought about getting involved with CodeClub or some other way to help kids get familiar with the web. Her class at the time was thirty 7 and 8 year olds. As my session drew nearer, I started to wonder…how do I explain this stuff to them in a way that doesn’t make it seem too remote or difficult…maybe even make it fun?

At first I thought I’d have an hour with them but shortly before, I heard it was a whole morning. Mild panic set in. I could talk to my daughter about this stuff or an audience at a conference, but I must admit I was apprehensive about talking for so long to a whole classroom of kids.

I ended up trying to think of a few things that might help demystify what the web is, what it does, and hopefully show that they could make sites too if they wanted. We ended up going over:

I heard from the teacher afterwards that it seemed to go down well with the class and at least one of the kids made a website with their dad at home. My daughter seemed to think it was pretty cool…and not too embarrassing having her dad around.

I’m curious whether anyone else out there has tried to run a class or teach young kids of that age or younger about the web. What did you find worked for you? While teaching code can be valuable, I definitely feel from that experience that there’s a bit before it: what the web is, how we use it, how to stay safe and how it’s made. Even before we go into depth with any of this, we’re helping to demystify and give some broad understanding of something they’ll no doubt use day in day out through their lives. Maybe some of them will learn how to code, but the main thing to me is that they’re better informed.

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