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Tuesday, 23 December 2008

We need to empower the parents

Here is a question that I would love an answer to.

Is there a site, template, program that I can use to help my son learn to program in? I have some skills but less time to sit with him, and having a 3rd party between a son and father during learning time keeps the testosterone down for both of us. I can be the adjunct but not the primary instructor with him.

He is 12 also and interested in computers. I love the angle of him developing a computer game on his own.

Originally posted as a comment by Tom Royce on A VC using Disqus.

HI Fred. Long time listener, first time caller, er, commenter.

Can you publicly or privately give any more details on how you are helping your son and the tools started with?

My son just turned 11 and he and I are just starting with Microsoft's new Small Basic environment but it's pretty rudimentary. His current passion is the Spore video game so there's a potential spark there that I'd like to help him with. Twenty years ago when I had Basic on my Atari 400 just doing readln and writeln to get text in and out seemed amazing but with the web and games these days, doing just for loops and console write makes it hard to keep their interest.

I know this isn't a typical topic for your blog but would love any more details on what you and your son are doing...

Originally posted as a comment by jeffbaker on A VC using Disqus.

I was reading Fred Wilson's post on disrupting education when I noticed comments likes the ones I posted above. This is not unique. Across the web, I noticed similar comments from parents across different sites, blogs and social networks.

This enforced my earlier blog post on the need for parents to share the way they teach their kids on a common platform. Each child is unique. However, with enough data points, we can aggregate successful teaching methods from different parents, and filter them by the child's age, learning styles, areas of interests et al. Organising information in this way helps parents to explore and use the appropriate teaching methods.

I think the discussion on education as always been on classrooms and students. It is time to empower the parents.

: Startup Idea #98: Parents sharing teaching experiences