Nathan Torkington gives a very humorous talk about how we can spawn (pun intended) the next generation of open-source hackers and teach kids how to use computers. He talks about the process of introducing usable, modern computer hardware and software (with a focus on open-source) into a school environment which had previously been the bastion of randomly assorted technologies, none of which were functioning very well.
Torkington talks about various aspects of teaching kids and teachers alike. How do you teach young kids without computer experience how to program? He goes on to explore many different facets of the modern computer environment, from the components that make a computer to why people search the web for pictures of people getting their legs bitten off by sharks.
We hear about his discovery that robots, are not very cool, but in fact are really lame (or are they?) He also explains how he has effectively used Scratch, a relatively new programming language, to introduce young kids to the art of programming.
Nathan Torkington ran the first web server in New Zealand. He has co-written The Perl Cookbook, as well as edited several technical books for O’Reilly Media. Torkington has in the past been involved with running several conferences on bio-informatics, Internet-enabled geo-spatial technologies, new voice technology, and open source software (including OSCON for ten years). Nathan is one of the two organizers for Kiwi Foo Camp. He also does consulting and teaching. He currently lives and works in Leigh, New Zealand.
This free podcast is from our Open Source Conference series.