Welcome to Pixels4Kids

Design, Code, Play, Learn.

Letter to Parents

Dear parent, teacher, or guardian,

Welcome to Pixels4Kids. This is Jordi Pol-Mir, a multimedia developer at Region 4. In this blog, we are going to enable young artists to develop their own ideas from beginning to end. Pixels4Kids wants your kids to be independent problem-solving artists who embrace available technology to accomplish their goals. While mastering the art of programming through HTML, CSS, and Javascript, they will discover amazing ways to enhance their projects using multimedia resources.

This blog has a front-end mission and a back-end mission.

The front-end mission: Get your kids ready.

  • Get your kids proficient with tools and technologies like the ones used by professionals.
    • They will work locally on the computer and upload their own creations to the World Wide Web.
    • They will create their own animations, sprite sheets, and sounds to embed in their projects.
  • Get your kids mastering the art of programming with Html, CSS, and Javascript.
    • They will create games or amazing interactive web sites.
    • They will develop their own resume and online portfolio to showcase their artwork.

The back-end mission: Keep your kids thinking.

  • Keep your kids learning as a habit.
    • They will learn by themselves: they will research and they will practice until they get it.
    • They will slice a problem into smaller pieces until they can understand it and figure out what pieces are relevant.
  • Keep your kids switching mindsets as a habit.
    • They will splash rivers of creativity on the screen while planning, designing or producing artwork.
    • They will become insanely organized and perform with mathematical perfection while developing.

Letter to Kids

Dear young developers,

Once upon a time there was a princess who coded so well that all other kingdoms wanted to partner with her. With her magic tools, she kept dragons and trolls away until one day, a tiny elf called PK climbed the castle walls where the princess was.

The princess said, “That’s not possible! My code is awesome! Nobody can enter without my permission!” and began yelling and crying like a little baby who dropped her ice cream.

And the Castle Walls said, “We let him pass! He promised to paint our walls with bright colors!”

Also the Street Cats said, “Look princess! He came by and gave us these beautiful necklaces. They shine at night, and they are so pretty! Meow!”

The king was sleeping, but if he had been awake, he would have said something like, “If I catch that little climber, I’m going to hire him to make this castle an attractive place to live. Then people will come. Even the dragons and trolls will be nice so they can join us, and we will live happily ever after.”

The Moral of this tale is that we are going to learn how to make all kinds of cool stuff and we are going to play with them. Yes! And one day, we are going to be rewarded for it. . . . And another day we will gallop with unicorns and become the Sheriff of Wonderland.

What We Are Going to Do

We are going to have fun! No, seriously, we are going to work our butts off the hard way. Forget about sleeping at night and tell your friends that you cannot hang out at the mall anymore!

Please, be more specific Jordi! Fine, we are going to:

  • Download and play a game each month. We will tweak the code, replace artwork, or adjust settings, like scoring, speed, colors . . . We will feel like real hackers. Cool, right? Let’s play and tweak and figure out how we can improve it or make it sillier and more fun. Hey! When I’m upset with my partner Wajahat, I use his picture to replace the aliens on a Space Invaders kind of game I made, and I feel much better after. Then I go to him and I say, “I appreciate you so much. I need a hug!” And he runs away.
  • Receive tips about programming, animation, physics, and free software. For example, I will talk to you about free software to generate weird retro sounds from far away back in the 80s. Then I will show you how to use your audio creations to replace the ones made for the monthly games we will play.
  • Go deeper and deeper into programming. I will be posting what I call “concepts.” Concept by concept, we will reach a stage where our brains will delegate instinctively appropriate responsibilities to the HTML, CSS, and Javascript languages and apply Object Oriented Programming practices to nurture solid foundations before tackling more complex projects we can write amazing code and be hired the next morning. :)

Most of the posts will include a how-to video, infographic, or link to a place where you can play and mess with examples until you get it.

Thank you for reading the longest post ever, and welcome to Pixels4Kids.

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