Encouraging the next generation of hackers
I suspect that many Parenthackers, like me, have their antenna constantly up for "how can I teach my kids to love computers like I did when I was a kid" (for me, that mostly means programming). Since Josie's less than 2, I think I have some time to figure it out (or even better -- one of you will figure it out for me!), but I bookmarked "Where's the 8 bit revolution for my kids" by Surj Patel on O'Reilly Radar. There are a lot of interesting and provocative things in the post, most of it from Normal Lewis -- how we do kids a disservice by flattering them for superficial technical prowess, a proposal to get them started programming in a form factor they are used to (cell phones), and a link to the Scratch programming language. It's a very worthwhile read.
We've discussed this topic before (Computer programming for kids), and Ross Mayfield (a fellow GeekDad) recently started a page on Wired's new How-to Wiki on the topic: how to teach a kid to program. We've also played with Lego Mindstorms programmable robots, but they're suited for older kids (I'd say 9 and up).
But Surj's post (and Sara's point) is broader: how can we encourage our kids to dig deeper into technology -- to go beyond customizing ringtones and playing games and unlock true creative potential?
(Oh, and Surj is a friend of ours, so I was excited to see his name come up here.)