Widgets Magazine

Introduce Your Kids to Programming and Coding

One of the conversations taking place in the AV industry and beyond is that of getting the next generation interested in programming at an early age. A number of tools like RasperyPi has been incredibly helpful. An email I received blew my mind and made getting the gaming generation interested in coding a bit easier.
That message was from Disney Infinity. If you are unfamiliar with this part of the Mouse’s world; Disney Infinity is an open architecture video game. It allows you to build worlds inside their ‘toy boxes” using various characters from the Disney worlds. You do this by placing a character onto a platform that interacts with your gaming system. You purchase the game, the characters, and power ups. To understand the breadth of this game you need to understand what Disney’s world entails now. Walt Disney owns the original Disney characters, Marvel, Muppets, and now Star Wars. So, yes, Captain Jack Sparrow can play alongside Captain America. There’s even a rumor that the Star Wars versions of Infinity is already in development. As a Gen-Xer who grew up with both, it’s wicked cool.
As someone who owns this game and a number of characters I am on the email list. Along comes this message this week from Disney directing me to Code.org. What I was presented with completely blew me away. It was an object oriented coding interface allowing me to direct Hiro and Baymax in a Disney Infinity platform. The site has a number of videos that direct you along the path of creating various interactions with the characters.
In addition to the videos, the site gets increasingly more detailed and difficult. At one point you are coding a simple point-collection game. As a 40-something general gamer, programmer, and AV professional this site really is exciting. It is another tool we can use to get the next generation excited about programming. After going through the Infinity course I checked out the other offerings from the Studio part of Code.org. They have an introduction to computer science, the Flappy code, as well as other great beginning steps for those interested in the back end of how programming works. It’s a great resource.
That’s all from me, this week. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

Comments are closed.