KHAN CAN

KhanAcademy’s free educational videos have been viewed 178 million times on YouTube.  Now they’ve launched a “Computer Science” program that teaches kids and adults how to handle JavaScript; that’s the computer language that dominates the Web.

If you think this is too technical, you’d be missing something that turns out to be a lot of fun. Early lessons teach you to manipulate a snowman, changing the color of the sky, the ground, his nose, his buttons, and even the color of the snow. After the snowman, you move on to controlling Pac-Man figures.

Later lessons teach animation, creating spirals and zoom effects. All this appears on the screen, so you can watch your changes take effect. On the left hand side of the screen you can see the brief lines of computer code that control these changes. Presto, as magicians used to say, you’re learning to program.

KhanAcademy.org has 3,300 courses online, though few are as much fun as learning JavaScript. If you’re wondering whether there are any jobs for Javascript programmers, try a Google search; we saw nearly 5,000 openings at CareerBuilder.com.

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