Course Spotlight: DMA Online Fundamentals of Programming

By Phill Powell

DMA Online features Digital Media Academy’s Internet-based Learning Management System (LMS), and offers the same world-class instruction as DMA’s tech camp program, but delivered through online courses. DMA Online courses are open to any students (ages 10 and up) who are registered for the Summer 2015 camp season.


Easy-to-follow video clips let DMA Online students work at their own pace, and repeat concepts.

Fundamentals of Programming is one of several great new DMA Online courses now available. Here’s a course overview:

What’s Included

This course provides up to 20 hours of concentrated learning time, depending on student interest and aptitude. The content mixes specially recorded video instruction with written materials and practical exercises (“Challenges”) that encourage your child to learn by doing. There are even ways for students to discuss their progress with others, making the interactive experience even greater. It’s a super way to get sharper for summer camp, or to help prepare for the AP Computer Science Exam.

Challenge Exercises
Fundamentals in Programming is strengthened by 19 Challenge exercises, where the student gets to put the concepts they’ve just learned into practice. The course includes these engaging and fun Challenges:

  • Making Shapes: The student discovers how to draw a variety of shapes…including their dream car!
  • Breaking/Fixing a Program: First, the student changes variables in order to break a program. Then they learn how to fix the program.
  • Adding it Up: How to use programming as a super-powered calculator.
  • Variables: The student discovers how to name and set variables, as well as how to add variables, change variables and assign values to variables.
  • Logic: Exploring logic’s role in making “if” statements and defining operators.
  • Moving Boxes: The student first draws boxes, and sets them into motion. And then uses what they’ve learned to change the direction of the moving boxes.
  • Functions: By using functions, the student learns how to sketch letters of the alphabet by using code, as well as how to test certain functions.
  • Objects: The student creates an object class that combines variables and functions.
  • Rocket Race: Creating a rocket class with three rocket objects…and then racing the rockets.

 

DMA_classroom_instructionDMA Online students receive the same top-quality instruction as enjoyed at DMA summer tech camps…created by the same curriculum designers!

What’s Covered

DMA Online courses are carefully shaped by the same acclaimed educators and curriculum designers who make Digital Media Academy’s highly respected summer camp program. This team created a dedicated means for delivering that great curriculum. DMA’s LMS makes exploring complex subjects like programming a fun and stimulating experience.

In Fundamentals of Programming, your student receives an introduction to major programming concepts like syntax, variables, functions and objects. Using the course’s in-browser editor, the student performs different learning exercises, while getting a solid foundation in computer science. Major areas of study include:

Basics
Students get started right away using programming to make shapes on the screen. They learn how to speak the language of the computer, including what you can tell the computer to do and what you can’t.

Variables
A variable is the tool programmers use to store information. Computers are really good at remembering things. The student discovers how to create a variable, put information into it, get information out of it and why variables are useful. Finally, the student learns how to store different types of information inside variables.

Logic
Sometimes you want the computer to only do something if a certain condition is met. The student explores how to use operators to compare information and conditionals like “if” statements to get better control over their programs.

Functions
Students learn how to create a function to consolidate code into a single group that can be run as many times as needed.

Objects
Heard the phrase “object-oriented programming”? Learn what an object actually is, how you define it and how you use it.

Maximize Your DMA Summer
The Fundamentals of Programming course is an inexpensive add-on. Plus, it’s easy and fun to take, from anywhere the student gets Internet access.

It’s learning that revolves around their personal schedule, and it provides a strong foundation in programming’s core principles. That foundation will help your student take the programming skills they learn this summer even further. DMA Online’s Fundamentals of Programming course offers amazing value for students and their families.