Last weekend I was indoors, with a bad flu and looking for something a little fun to do with a computer. So I ended up looking at a profile I created at khan academy where I could revisit what I never learnt when I was a little younger, especially in math. I found a surprise: Khan Academy has rolled out a computer science platform where we can all now learn basics of programming.
I wasn’t happy because I don’t know how to program, but i really suck at animation. I once tried flash and never got that far, or it was too much work setting up a project. So the most amazing thing about it is that I just logged in to my profile, in a few clicks I was at a page called “new program”. Here you get a text area, where you type your code and a canvas, where the 2d shapes get drawn, from your code. You can save the program and revisit later to modify. Its awesome because most of the set up has been done already. I got to learn basic animation in a few minutes and even ended up creating an elevator.
Don’t get too excited, it wasn’t a really good elevator, but the idea is home. I was happy to learn something so fast.
I always wanted to learn animation, but the long process of preparing either images or pre-drawings bored me, with this platform, there are even ready loadable images if you need some, and the mouse interactions, key-codes, etc… so if you think starting with a language like C or C++ is too hard for you, start with the basics at Khan Academy, learn to script, the programming basics remain the same, you know like variables, loops, conditional branching and stuff like that.
Also, the online academy is a great place for a kid to learn easily and supplement school work. If I enjoy it, the kids gotta enjoy it.
Here are some snapshots…