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Ideas for Using AASL Best Websites: Codecademy January 21, 2014

Posted by Heather Moorefield-Lang in Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, Hot Topics, Technology.
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Codecademy Wants to Teach the World to Code

2013 might be called “The Year of Code.” The popularity of events such as the Hour of Code campaign, part of Computer Science Education Week, encouraged school librarians and K-12 students all over the United States to explore computer programming, discovering how much fun and rewarding it is in the process.  Did you know that according to Code.org, over 1 million jobs in coding, engineering and data mining are projected to be available in the United States by 2020? Did you know that according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, starting salaries for 2013 computer science majors averaged $65,000 and are projected to increase at a rate of 5% per year? And finally, did you know that MIT researchers identified coding as an “aspect of fluency in the 21st century” that teaches problem-solving, collaboration and communication

As an instructional technology and school library media professor, I have been able to introduce coding and basic computer programming to my students, most of whom are classroom teachers and future school librarians. At first, the idea of coding seems mysterious and overwhelming, but once they begin, many of these teachers find that coding is engaging and much easier than they expected. They also share with me that they enjoy integrating coding exercises into their classrooms and library programs. Much of the positive experience we have with coding I attribute to Codecademy, part of AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning 2013 list under the “Content Resources” section.

Codecademy offers full courses on a broad range of programming languages (HTML, CSS, JQuery, JavaScript, PHP, Python and Ruby) that are broken down into short, easily digestible exercises. Sign up for a free account and earn points and badges, or join groups to exchange tips, ideas and collaborate. To help students delve into real-world applications for coding, the website offers project-based coding exercises: design animations, develop mobile apps; create a website…even build your own galaxy! Now Codecademy makes it even easier for you to start coding with your students.

The website offers a free After-School Programming Kit to any K-12 educator who would like to start a coding club because “by learning to program, kids can have a say in how software shapes their world.” What a wonderful philosophy! I encourage you to explore Codecademy’s wealth of resources. Integrate coding into your school library program and help your students develop into 21st century digital citizens who shape their own future. For the latest updates and information on this resource, follow the Codecademy Blog, “like” Codecademy on Facebook and/ or follow them on Twitter.

Dr. Lucy Santos Green

@lucysantosgreen

2013-14 AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee

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