Computer code is the next universal language, and its syntax will be limited only by the imaginations of the next generation of programmers. Linda Liukas is helping to educate problem-solving kids, encouraging them to see computers not as mechanical, boring and complicated but as colorful, expressive machines meant to be tinkered with. In this talk, she invites us to imagine a world where the Ada Lovelaces of tomorrow grow up to be optimistic and brave about technology and use it to create a new world that is wonderful, whimsical and a tiny bit weird.

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Children rapidly learn to speak between the ages of 1 and 3. Here are some ways to foster your toddler’s gift of gab.

Step 1: Create a proper environment
Create a speech intensive environment for the child. The toddler should frequently be exposed to speech, songs, and stories.

Hearing stories read aloud gives children a chance to hear words they do not encounter in everyday speech.

Step 2: Use appropriate language
Use single words, or simple combinations of words, when communicating with a child who is just beginning to talk. Use more complex patterns with more advanced toddlers.

Step 3: Talk about things that matter to the child
Talk to toddlers about things that matter to them such as their toys, siblings, and food. Talk with the child, not at them.

Step 4: Adapt your teaching style
Adapt your teaching style to the child’s particular learning style. If lots of repetition is important to the toddler, use it.

Step 5: Engage the child in conversation
Try to engage the child in conversation by asking more than “yes” or “no” questions. This encourages the toddler to experiment with more complex speech patterns.

Did You Know?
Some experts believe that chewing food helps children develop the mouth coordination required for speech.

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