Posted in Coding, Hour of Code, programming, Trending technology

Coding: A Global Movement

For the second year, my library classes–yes, even the first graders, are learning computer programming by using code.org. WHY? Because kids of all ages and languages can speak it (like math, coding is a universal language) and “Computer science drives innovation throughout the US economy, but it remains marginalized throughout K-12 education.” According to the code.org website, “Only 33 states allow students to count computer science courses toward high school graduation. There are currently 517,393 open computing jobs nationwide. Last year, only 42,969 computer science students graduated into the workforce.”

coding1That’s a big gap!! Washington state is one of only FIVE states which dedicates funding to computer science. Right now, there are 26,000 computer science jobs in our state, and 1100 graduates to fill them. As I told my students, if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t avoid classes and activities that weren’t “right brain” activities, which I was comfortable learning–those which dealt with drawing and painting and writing. I’d learn to love and find my place in math and science, because I’ve always felt that so much of the world was closed to me by not having skills in these vast and important fields.

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An actual second grader having an actual blast coding

Hour of Code is a global movement. Find out why in this darling and motivating video below.

Why kids should code

 

 

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Posted in Awesome Apps, graphic design, programming

World Clouds: Our favorite Infographics

Initially an exercise to honor World Kindness Week, students used the Tagul.com application to generate “Kindness Word Clouds” to express and spread their own perceptions of what kindness means to them. Then, students liked the customization of their lists so much they began creating gifts for loved ones. My daughter used it to make a Christmas Wish List. And I used it to create a picture summary for staff about what we’ve been working on in Library for the past month. I love Tagul because it doesn’t require additional software (some require Microsoft Silverlight) and can be used on any device. We recommend writing a list of words on a separate document rather than typing them straight into the available text box.screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-3-33-19-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-01-at-3-34-13-pmAnyway, here’s the cool images that emerge! Two are from the Tagul website shapes menu and two are downloaded from custom images. Use and have fun!

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Posted in Coding, programming, Trending technology

No, we’re not PLAYING Minecraft, we’re PROGRAMMING it!

“Coding describes a wide range of behaviors in which we solve a problem by writing procedural steps for a person, computer, or machine to follow.”

~ Chad Sansing

Sansing’s quote is from an article of the urgency of teaching what is commonly being referred to as the “language oft he future” For people who have any job in technology, this has been a language for a very long time.

But for Mead elementary students (all the LITS are offering “Hour of Code” programming this week –in honor and participation of International–Computer Science Week) it’s a time to program a game they love to play: Minecraft.

Hour of Code promotional video

My friend Joy made this pictogram: I like it. Whenever I made a pictochart/pictogram it looks like my crowded scrapbook pages (when I had time to scrapbook) Anyway, the kids love it, and nearly everyone experienced success and engagement and none of this means I prefer coding to READING, you dig? There’s a place for everything in the library, though!

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