“Every maker of video games knows something that the makers of curriculum don’t seem to understand. You’ll never see a video game being advertised as being easy. Kids who do not like school will tell you it’s not because it’s too hard. It’s because it’s–boring.”
When it comes to getting students ready for 21st-century careers, coding often tops the list of most-needed skills. But, teaching and learning coding can seem overwhelming. What’s more, coding languages and platforms are constantly changing. How can libraries introduce and support programming around coding even without prior experience? How can librarians keep up with the ever-changing field?
We hosted a webinar, with our friends at School Library Journal, focused on how to bring coding to your library. David Saunders, rockstar educator for Greenwich Country Day School, and Erin Mulcahy, senior product strategist lead for education at littleBits, discussed tools, resources, and top tips for getting started with coding. It’s now available for viewing!
The top takeaways you’ll get from this webinar:
1. Find the right tools that engage your students.
We know the amount of tools out there can be overwhelming. How will you know which one is right for you? On top of all the other initiatives you’re taking on, making the right choice is imperative. Consider tools with low barriers of entry, but high ceilings and wide walls – tools that both you and your students can grow with.
2. You are not alone – there are resources to support you.
A tool without the right knowledge of how to use it does not lead to innovation in your library or makerspace. Creating a coding (or any sort of) curriculum action plan can be intimidating to even the most seasoned educators. Thanks to a burgeoning movement focused on the importance of teaching code and new visual programming languages, coding can be accessible to everyone. You’ll be able to give your students everything they need, or at least let them know where to seek things out.
3. Don’t be afraid to learn alongside your students.
As educators, you may feel pressured to be the resident expert on everything you teach or introduce to your students. However, if educators had to know everything about coding, we’d alienate many amazing and completely capable instructors! Instead of feeling the need to know everything from the start, encourage continuous learning and exploration in your students by taking the journey with them. You’ll not only keep innovating as an educator, but you’ll also encourage your students to seek out answers independently.
As Seymour Papert also said: “The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.”
Education Marketing Coordinator