When this year’s Computer Science (CS) Education Week launches on Monday, December 5, we will celebrate the progress of CS and coding organizations, tech companies, youth-serving organizations and school and public libraries over the last year to help youth gain access to CS Education and develop computational thinking skills. Libraries are also active in developing coding programs for youth and through our Libraries Ready to Code project, we will be highlighting some of what we’ve learned throughout the week.
Why are we excited to take part in CS Education Week? While much of the national conversation about CS and coding centers around the K12 classroom, research shows that there are gaps in what’s available across the country and barriers preventing some kids from participating when there are options in school. We also know kids learn throughout the day, in and out of the classroom, on their own, with peers and in informal spaces like the library. Libraries can increase exposure to coding, inspire kids to explore their personal interests enhanced through coding, and help break down barriers to entry among certain groups – youth of color, low economic background and girls – who remain underrepresented in tech fields.
Why should we all be talking about libraries and coding? Libraries provide technology access, have trained information professionals and offer rich informal learning programs for youth. Libraries partner with community organizations and individuals who can bring their expertise into the library; in turn, librarians can go out into their communities to bring their programs to where the kids are. With more jobs coming from the tech sector than any other field, specifically those that include coding and require computational thinking skills, libraries are poised to help prepare youth for college and these emerging careers. Libraries Ready to Code can give a head start to kids in their communities.
Ready to Code? Here’s a taste of what you can expect next week:
- Follow along all week using the #CSForAll hashtag.
- Share what you do in your library using #ReadyToCode and @youthandtech.
- Read a blog post or two and comment on the District Dispatch
- Participate in the Libraries Ready to Code tweet chat Thursday, December 8 from 3:00-4:00 eastern time
- Check ALA social media channels for an exciting announcement
Read about #CSForAll and check out this year’s call to action!