What is coding?

Over and over lately, I’ve been asked, “What is coding?!”It is just a new term for computer programming – you can write code for computer programs, video games, or create apps for mobile devices.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 1.4 million computer science related jobs by the year 2020. These are great paying jobs and not all of them involve “programming”, but understanding the language of computers and how to make a computer do what you want it to can get you far in many careers! Women, blacks, and latinos are greatly underrepresented in this field!

So, we need to start our students young and teach them the basics of coding! (Coding is the New Cursive) I have been in several elementary classrooms this fall and watch as young students learning to code using the tutorials provided by Code.org. They are solving puzzles that teach the basics of coding. Some of their activities are “unplugged” – they are up and moving and learning computing concepts without a computer! They smile, clap, jump up and down! They ask their teacher, “Can we do this again?!”

On February 29, 2016, Green Hills AEA is hosting another Code Studio Workshop for K-5 teachers, tech integrationists, teacher/librarians, and administrators. It is a free day, sponsored by code.org and led by Ben Schafer – a computer science professor from the University of Northern Iowa. Click here to read more about the day. Contact judy@ghaea.org for the link to register.

The Hour of Code is coming the week of December 7-13, 2015. “The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.” – Code.Org Sign up your school and encourage all teachers and students to participate (yes, any age!) Students watch tutorials by famous men and women who code and then solve the puzzles. Teachers don’t have to know anything about coding… students will learn from the tutorials and from each other. Just stand back and let them learn!

Encourage teachers and students to participate, and encourage your districts to offer Computer Science courses for Math and/or Science credit!

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