And what a #CSEdWeek it was

Today marks the last day of a very full #CSEdWeek for Libraries #ReadytoCode. While our Ready to Code project team is routinely effervescing about the stories we hear about youth projects taking place in and through libraries, this week allowed us to take a step back and share, check out what others in the CS learning space are up to, and be inspired to strengthen existing and build new collaborations. Children participating in Ready to Code programming

We heard from ready to code librarians during our (first ever) Tweetchat yesterday when we discussed issues raised throughout the project by library staff we interviewed such as:

  • What are the challenges you’ve had in coding with youth? How do you get passed hurdles?
  • How do you get started? What are your favorite resources?
  • Who do you partner with in your community to provide coding activities?
  • What excites you the most in coding with youth? What excites the youth in your programs?

We heard about how one librarian manages youth with different ability levels and talked about setting up near peer learning where older kids work alongside younger kids and the importance of being a co-learning with youth. And we heard about a statewide initiative to get all libraries #readytocode in Wisconsin from @LibrarianRy. Most importantly we heard from @gonzajas that “coding is not as challenging as it used to be.”

Blog posts earlier in the week echo the theme that there are a number of ways libraries can become ready to code. Ready To Code advisory committee member, Crystle Martin reminds would-be coding libraries that “it is not necessary for library staff to be experts in coding to run coding programs. Instead, what is necessary is for librarians to be willing to learn alongside the youth they teach and to be willing to try new things (and sometimes fail).” While we heard Alyssa Newton, from the Onondaga Free Library in Syracuse, New York describe the importance of focusing on teen passions and interests and being ready to learn alongside teens for successful coding activities that go beyond coding and bring out computational thinking skills.Student and instructor participating in Ready to Code progamming

In case you missed it, we released the first “Libraries Ready to Code” video sponsored by Rosen Publishing. The video includes public and school library coding programs to showcase the robust learning that happens when libraries build coding programs around core library strengths and values including; equity of access, celebrating diversity, teaching critical problem solving skills (i.e., computational thinking); preparing youth for college and career, among others. The video will also increase awareness among decision makers at all levels that libraries have much to contribute to ensuring all youth have access to CS learning opportunities, regardless of where and how they learn.

While this is the end of the very public #CSEdWeek activities, the Libraries Ready to Code project continues. Expect a report to be released in Mid January and if you’ll be at ALA’s Midwinter conference check out to coding sessions: Libraries Ready to Code: Google’s CS First program & other free resources Friday 1:00-2:20 and 2:40-4:00 and Are Libraries Ready to Code? Saturday 3:00-4:00.

About Marijke Visser

As associate director of OITP, Marijke leads and coordinates all of ALA’s work on E-rate. In addition to E-rate, Marijke supports the Program on Networks focusing on broadband adoption issues for diverse populations. Marijke also serves as Program Director for OITP’s emerging portfolio on children, youth, and technology.

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