• Learning

Kids and Computer Science

K12 CS Framework

The K–12 Computer Science Framework is a high-level set of guidelines that informs the development of standards, curriculum, course pathways, and professional development.

The framework can be viewed as one PDF, by grade band, by progression, and by concept:

Very many organizations and corporations have endorsed K12 CS Framework with statements of support: ACM, Apple, Amazon,, CollegeBoard, Google, Microsoft:

Core Concepts

  1. Computing Systems

  2. Networks and Internet

  3. Data and Analysis

  4. Algorithms and Programming

  5. Impacts of Computing

Core Practices

  1. Fostering and Inclusive Computing Culture

  2. Collaborating Around Computing

  3. Recognizing and Defining Computational Problems

  4. Developing and Using Abstractions

  5. Creating Computational Artifacts

  6. Testing and Refining Computational Artifacts

  7. Communicating About Computing

Family Media Plan

Create an AAP Family Media Plan:

  • Screen Free Zones

  • Screen Free Times

  • Device Curfews

    • Devices will charge overnight

  • Choose & Diversify Your Media

    • Co-view

    • Co-play

    • Educational

  • Balancing Online & Off-line Time

  • Manners Matter

  • Digital Citizenship

  • Safety First

    • Do not give out personal information online

    • Do not share private photos online

    • Review privacy settings with your children

    • See also: Internet Safety

Screen Time Guidelines

“American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Recommendations for Children’s Media Use”

Software for Learning


GCompris is an open source educational software suite written with Qt and Python/C and now Qt and C++/QML available on Linux, Android, Windows, MacOS, and iOS.

  • GCompris has activities for learning how to use a mouse

  • Some activities seem to be easier with an actual mouse than a trackpad

  • GCompris has activities for learning how to use a keyboard


Scratch is an open source visual programming language written in Javascript that runs entirely in a browser with internet access or optionally in an offline app available for Windows, MacOS, ChromeOS, Android tablets, and Linux.


Grasshopper is a free app by Code with Google for learning how to code in Javascript.


Sugar is an open source educational software suite originally written for the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) program that’s written in Python with GTK.

ABC Mouse

  • ABC Mouse is a reading, math, and social studies curriculum with a monthly subscription with apps for phone, tablet, and computer.

  • Ages 2-8

  • ABC Mouse sponsors PBS Kids

Khan Academy


Khan Academy is funded entirely by donations:

Amazon FreeTime

  • “Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is an all-in-one subscription for kids that offers unlimited access to thousands of kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games.”

  • App limits, screen time limits, device bedtime, content filters

  • Offline access

  • No social media, no in-app purchases

  • There’s a kids version of the Kindle Fire tablets that has a case

  • There are third-party cases with a handle and a stand

Facebook Messenger Kids

Messenger Kids is a free video calling and messaging app designed for kids to connect with close friends and family from their tablet or smartphone. Kids can only connect with parent-approved contacts, which creates a more controlled environment. Group or one-on-one video calls with loved ones are more fun with interactive masks, reactions and sound effects.


Facebook was originally for college students at approving colleges and universities with .edu email addresses.

Facebook is now for the whole community.

SimCity: BuildIt

SimCity: BuildIt is a city-building simulation game that teaches about civil infrastructure (fire, water, police, health, sewage, roads, public parks, property values) commodities trading, production of raw materials and goods, and opportunity cost.

Little Big Workshop

Little Big Workshop is a workshop business simulation game that teaches about becoming a factory tycoon.

  • The factory must be scaled,

  • Demand and price for products varies over time,

  • Workstations and machines fail,

  • Workers pass out for days without coffee and a break room

  • Workers may be obstructed due to a factory layout in need of remodeling

  • Workers and workstations may be idle

  • In order to accept a manufacturing contract, a production plan including raw materials and equipment and workstation assignments must be prepared.

Kerbal Space Program

See: Kerbal Space Program

PBS Kids

PBS Kids is programming for children.

  • There are dedicated PBS Kids TV stations in many markets.

PBS Kids Video App

The PBS Kids Video app has full episodes, a live local PBS feed, and professional captions.

Sesame Street

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is a Fred Rogers Company production.

  • Daniel Tiger teaches social skills.

Peg + Cat

  • Peg + Cat is a Fred Rogers Company production.

  • Peg + Cat teaches math.

Super Why

  • Super Why teaches letters, words, and reading.

Ready Jet Go!

  • Ready Jet Go! teaches science like physics and space, and interpersonal dynamics.

  • NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Wild Kratts

  • Wild Kratts teaches about animals and our environment.

  • What is it like to be the animals?

  • What are their habitats like?

  • What do they eat?

Odd Squad

  • Odd Squad teaches basic math and critical reasoning.

  • Odd Squad is a Fred Rogers Company production.


It’s important for us to understand the systems within which the systems we build survive.


Cosmos: A Personal Voyage

  • First aired on PBS in 1980

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

  • First aired on National Geographic channel in 2014

Cosmos: Possible Worlds

  • First aired on National Geographic channel in 2020

Mobile phone family plan GPS

Internet Safety

  • Academia created the Internet and the World Wide Web for sharing academic information; in ASCII.

  • Sometimes, the best thing to do is to format or totally reset a computer. Before formatting, you should backup or have already backed up important data.

  • OpenDNS, Google Family Link, and Amazon FreeTime are examples of family-safe internet filter services that do their best to avoid censoring the freedom of information necessary for a functioning democracy.

  • Sometimes there a bad things in the world that moms and dads need to know about in order to make good decisions.

Cybersecurity for all ages

OWASP Juice Shop

  • OWASP Juice Shop is a deliberately vulnerable web application written with Node.js.

    “Pwning OWASP Juice Shop” is the official companion guide for this project. It will give you a complete overview of the vulnerabilities found in the application including hints how to spot and exploit them. In the appendix you will even find complete step-by-step solutions to every challenge.

  • To run the Juice Shop application on your local machine where you may have record of authorized permission to hack:

Internet Privacy

  • Regardless of the language in a site’s privacy policy, assuming privacy on the internet is a bad assumption due to: legally authorized requests for information, security vulnerabilities,

  • Information asymmetry is an assumption that tends not to hold over time. Is quantum information ever lost?

  • In the US, ISPs can sell internet usage history. There was a bill specifically prohibiting such sale, which has since been cancelled by the current FCC administration.

  • Law, Terms of Service, and Privacy Policies define how you and your kids’ information can be used to pay for the cost of a service.

  • There is need to investigate the world.

  • There is need to keep people safe.

  • See: Safety Extensions

  • EFF (Electronic Frontiers Foundation) is generally on top of things.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

Content Filtering

DNS Content Filtering

  • DNS domain names are resolved to IP addresses by sending a request to and receiving a reply from a DNS nameserver.

  • DNS is used to lookup an IPv4 (“A record”) or an IPv6 (“AAAA record” / “quad-a record”) address (“”, “::1”) for a domain name (“”).

  • Most systems will attempt to lookup the IP address for a domain name from a local /etc/hosts or C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts file before sending a request to one of the DNS nameservers listed in /etc/resolv.conf.

  • Instead of everyone regularly downloading an /etc/hosts file containing every domain and IP, we have DNS.

  • DNS is an OSI Layer 7 (“application layer”) network protocol for cached distributed key-value lookup that’s just about as old as the internet.

  • DNS records are typically cached (stored locally) on first request: a DNS resolver cache is typically not flushed until the browser and/or operating system are restarted. DNS lookups will be served from the local cache until the DNS record TTL expires or the cache is flushed.

  • DNS nameserver IPs can be set on the router and/or on a particular machine.

  • DNS nameserver addresses can be set manually or automatically from whatever is listed in a DHCP response.

  • When a device connects to a network, it broadcasts a request for a DHCP server (“DHCPDiscover”). The router or gateway runs a DHCP server daemon process which replies to the DHCPDiscover request with a DHCP response (“DHCPOffer”) that contains a unique IP address for the requesting device to assign to itself, a subnet from which IP routes can be created, a gateway IP to use as the default route, one or more DNS nameserver IPs, and maybe an NTP time server address.

  • Typically, when a router gets a public IP from the ISP over DHCP, it also receives the ISP’s DNS nameserver IPs; which it will use by default itself and relay requests to on behalf of devices on the LAN which request DNS.

  • Depending on the operating system, you may need admin rights to change the DNS nameserver IPs for a given connection for a given user.

  • HTTP and HTTPS connections may lookup the server’s IP with DNS or connect directly to an IP (in which case no DNS resolution occurs and so no DNS content filtering can occur).

  • A VPN, DNS over HTTPS (DoH), and DNS over TLS (DoT) can bypass any DNS resolver configuration on the router or the device.

  • Many (free) wireless hotspots will not work with custom DNS resolver IPs because of the way their captive portal attempts to redirect any request for any URL to the hotspot login page.

  • In the US, ISPs are allowed to sell customers’ DNS usage history (regardless of the unknown age of the user(s))

  • There are third-party DNS services which pledge not to sell DNS usage history.

OpenDNS DNS is a DNS-based content filtering service with support for encrypted DNS: DNS over TLS (port 853) and DNScrypt (port 8443).

  • Family Filter:
  • Adult Filter:
  • Security Filter:
  • Paid Custom costs $55/year (Families), $110/year (Small Organizations), to $220/year (Large Organizations).

Enforcing SafeSearch with DNS

Safe Search Service






YouTube Strict


YouTube Moderate