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Designing a Programming Language for Early Learners

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT

Designing a Programming Language for Early Learners

Presented by Dylan Portelance, Education Product Manager, Wonder Workshop; and Anthony Fudd, Senior Product Manager, Wonder Workshop
Sponsored by Wonder Workshop

Watch the Recording

If you view the recording and would like a CE certificate, join the Coding & Robotics K-8 community and go to the CE Quizzes link in the Community Toolbox.

How do we design a programming language? And how might we design one for early learners? Throughout the history of technology, needs like performance, elegance, security, and pedagogy have all led to the development of new programming languages. In this edWebinar, explore languages from early computing like Fortran and Logo and more recent ones like Processing, Scratch, and Python. What problems were surfaced that led to their unique designs and what impact did they have?

Finally, learn about Wonder Workshop’s own language, Wonder, which allows K-5 students to program robots. Using visual state machines to represent code, Wonder is designed to make concepts like loops and logic more visible and traceable. Discover the magic of “finger painting with code” and where it fits into the rich history of computer science and design. K-8 teachers, art teachers, SPED educators, librarians, tech specialists, administrators, and makerspace facilitators will benefit from watching this recorded session.

Dylan PortelanceAbout the Presenters

Dylan Portelance is a product manager at Wonder Workshop, where he enjoys thinking and learning with educators about coding and robotics in K–8 classrooms. Previously, Dylan spent three years with the ScratchJr team leading design research teams and developing curriculum for young children. He also spent two years writing code for design studios creating data visualizations and web applications. A creative coding tutor and musician, he is always searching for new ways to bridge computing with the arts. Dylan earned his MA in child development and BS in computer science and music from Tufts University.

Anthony FuddAnthony Fudd is a senior product manager at Wonder Workshop, where he helps kids learn and play with coding and robotics concepts used by real engineers every day. After being inspired by his very first programmable robot in third grade, the Milton Bradley Big Trak, Anthony went on to pursue his interest in toy design and robotics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has over 10 years of experience designing games and toys at LEGO MINDSTORMS, LeapFrog, and Gazillion Entertainment. In his free time, he likes to design puzzle games and build robots that are good at household tasks.


Join the Coding & Robotics K-8 community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, view past edWebinars, take a quiz to receive a CE certificate for a past edWebinar, and access free resources.

wonder workshopWonder Workshop creates engaging, hands-on learning tools, programming languages, and curriculum that bring STEM and coding to life for grades K-8. Robotics fosters critical thinking skills at an early age, encourages creativity, and turns students into makers rather than consumers. Wonder Workshop is the creator of the Dash and Dot robots. Let’s inspire students to be future leaders in technology. Find out more at


Tuesday, May 22, 2018
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT
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