On Wednesday, September 16th, Gordon Smith and the Codesters team presented at Teachers College EdLabs.
Our talk elicited many interesting comments, such as one from user jagnitti (@02:59): With that logic, it’s also important for all adults to learn coding, too, or else get squeezed out of the job market by these young whippersnappers!
Other users, such as tzaffi (@05:30) philosophized: In principle, anything you can do with a regular programming language can be done with a block language as well. But….since in industry, standard text based programming is still standard, it makes sense to expose students to both kinds of programming.
Have a look at the vialogue and feel free to drop us a comment.
Hi, I am one of the curriculum developers at Codesters. I wanted to share a talk that I gave at PyGotham 2015. PyGotham is New York City’s own Python language conference. It was an exciting opportunity to become better at programming and to participate in the thriving Python community.
This talk covers the why and the how of teaching text-based coding, particularly Python at the Middle School level. It draws on my experience teaching in mixed-ability classrooms, some of my work as a graduate student, and some of our curriculum features at Codesters. People who use and contribute to Python are dedicated to giving back through education and the development of open-source resources; so the talk was well received.
My talk was during the first session of the first day of the conference and it opened up a discussion that was ongoing on twitter and in between sessions. Several of the attendees I spoke with volunteer their time to contribute to open-source education projects or work for local Girls Who Code programs in addition to their jobs as developers. I also spoke with two dedicated teachers from The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria and the Bronx Academy for Software Engineering. Other speakers continued the conversation on and off the stage. Keynote speaker, Jessica McKellar, discussed the importance of Python as an education language at all levels. Nick Coghlan, also a keynote speaker, talked about making open source projects successful including those dedicated to education.
At Codesters we are excited to participate in active programming and education communities. If you want to get involved or know of people or organizations we should be aware of, tweet at us @icodeinschool. You can also tweet me directly @teach_python.
Codesters just returned from our first ISTE conference. Twenty hours of exhibiting is exhausting, but it is also inspiring. Teachers, school librarians, school and district technology coordinators, principals, technology trainers, and district representatives are actively working to bring programming into classrooms across the globe. Seeing attendee after attendee get so excited for our platform and curriculum crystallized for me what makes us different.
A teacher from a school in California for students who are at risk of dropping out was happy that we teach Python, a professional programming language. He explained to me that he wants to use Codesters because his students need to go beyond block-based languages so that they have more opportunities open to them in life. A teacher from Virginia, told me that the district wants all of her 6th graders to start learning code. She wants to use Codesters because she found four ways that the drag-and-drop toolkit will allow her to differentiate in her mixed-ability classroom, just during our short demo.
ISTE is a reminder of just how passionate our team is about making programming accessible to all middle school students! School’s out for teachers and
students, and we are busy gearing up for a school year full of code.