coding

Simple Coding Lessons for Teens

Teens learning HTML and CSS in a library computer lab

Teens today keep hearing about coding, coding, coding — and libraries are responding! Many teens in school and public libraries seem to have ample exposure to Scratch coding, a simple coding structure that uses drag-and-drop coding blocks.

What if teens want to go further, though? What if they want to use the coding skills for which they have to type out actual coding languages instead of dragging and dropping? Libraries can do that too!

Over the course of a school year, teens at the Spring Branch-Memorial Library in Harris County Public Library used HTML and CSS coding to create web pages. From a blank Notepad page, these teens crafted web pages with content and design aspects they chose.

Coding for Kids: Learning a Future-Proof Skill

Kids learning computer-based skills at a library

The sort of life skills we are encouraged to acquire at an early age have varied through the ages. Today's young generation can consider coding to be a basic literacy requirement if they hope to enjoy a meaningful working career. Coding for Kids: How to Get Started is a free resource that is perfect for library STEM programming. It is aimed at giving librarians, parents, and teachers access to a wide range of information and external links that are useful for anyone interested in learning the basics of coding.

How to Bring Digital Literacy to Your Library with Coding

Girls Who Code Club at Mountain View Library

Over the last few years the library world has been buzzing about programming in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and coding, the new digital literacy. For many librarians like myself, who come from a humanities background and are used to planning programming around books and literature, this new digital literacy can seem daunting. Add in the fact that many celebrated STEM and coding programs are backed by large budgets, multi-system libraries, and lots of staff, the idea of putting together a meaningful program at your own library can seem almost impossible!

However, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need a big budget and oodles of staff to bring computer science to your community. You just need Girls Who Code.

Coding Basics: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript Explained

The following blog post recaps a NetSquared Toronto presentation by Sarah Lesh, a front-end web developer at hjc. You can watch her full, in-depth presentation. As coding is becoming a necessary skill for libraries, we thought this blog post might be useful our audience. 

The Internet can be a confusing place, and often Internet concepts, like coding a website, may seem complicated and overwhelming. That's why we invited Sarah Lesh, a front-end web developer at hjc, to explain the basics of coding, specifically HTML, CSS, and Javascript. But first ...

Skilled Volunteers Can Help Support Digital Literacy Initiatives

I recently wrote an article for Public Libraries Online on how the Berkeley Public Library (BPL) in California is making coding more accessible to its community through free workshops. The volunteer who is leading these classes is Sameer Siruguri. He is actually a former TechSouper and had reached out to the TechSoup for Libraries team to see if other libraries have done similar programming. 

Tech + Volunteers = Library Success!

Hour of Code at Chattanooga Library

The focus of my story was the coding programs for adults (inspired by the excellent Library Journal piece, How to Talk Code: Digital Literacy). But I thought this was also a wonderful example of how volunteers can help support technology and digital literacy initiatives.

I interviewed Siruguri along with Dan Beringhele, an adult services librarian at the Berkeley Public Library's Central Library, and Anwan Baker, the supervising librarian for adult services. Siruguri had approached the BPL because he was searching for a venue to host a RailsBridge workshop, a weekend event that teaches coding to underserved people. Previously, the Central Library had only offered basic computer classes, and both Beringhele and Baker wanted to see if there was any interest in more advanced programs, like coding.

The three planned an introductory class for adults that covered the basics of HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. The class was so well received that they're planning a follow-up class that is focused specifically on JavaScript.

8-Year-Old Teaches Coding Skills at Public Libraries with Her Invented Board Game, Coder Bunnyz

Kids playing Coderbunnyz

Effective teachers know that when you teach something new, it's helpful to connect the new material to something that is known and familiar to students. For young children, what could be more familiar than a board game?

Samaira Mehta, an elementary school student with coder parents, has invented a board game, CoderBunnyz, to introduce coding fundamentals to other young children. She has been visiting public libraries and other venues in Silicon Valley to teach her board game to children. Her teaching has garnered attention from as far away as Germany, which covered her on television, and EdSurge, a well-respected website that covers education innovations.

Host a Coding Class at Your Library: Resources and Tools

 

Did you know? This week is National Computer Science Week! You may have heard about the Hour of Code, a fun event to get students interested in computer science. The Hour of Code can happen at any place (like the library!) at any time.