STEM Pioneers

Bringing Coding in Education into Your Classroom

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Coding in education is gaining momentum, as teaching kids to code will prepare them for the future. Kickstart your education in code and begin teaching coding in your classroom.

Once reserved for the tech kids, covert government agencies, and hackers (we know you remember 1995-era Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller), coding has become a hot topic. Everyone – from writers to supermodels – is seeking an education in coding, as many jobs require employees to know at least a small amount of code. After taking the first steps toward learning code, most kids find it to be a lot of fun – and it is! In fact, we’re using code while designing the layout of this article. By typing “<h1>” at the beginning and “</h1>” at the end of this article’s lead paragraph, we’ve created a header, allowing it to stand out from the rest of the story and grab your attention. Coding is cool, fun, and instills in kids a sense of problem-solving accomplishment – but what is coding?

Coding, or programming, is the means by which humans relay commands to machines. Computers understand binary code, yet humans communicate in text. Using text, coding is the process through which human languages are translated to speak with computers. Best described as languages, codes such as Ruby, Java, Javascript, Swift, Objective C, C, C++, Python, HTML and CSS allow people to perform different tasks. Each of these programming options is best suited for a different purpose, whether the user wants to develop an application, web page, or design. Use the following resources to begin your own education with code and begin teaching coding to students.

Coding in Education

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

CS Unplugged Teaching coding without a computer? It might sound strange, but it’s possible with the help of the University of Canterbury’s CS Education Research Group. Applying the principles of other concentrations, such as math and science, the project teaches techniques that promote coding in education by showing young programmers how to think outside the computer.

Bebras Challenge Encouraging students around the world to become excited about computing, the Bebras Challenge provides exercises online to help children think in a way that will facilitate coding. Register now to participate in this year’s challenge, which ends November 20. Miss the 2015 event? All is not lost, as the site also helps with teaching coding through challenges such as using an abacus and navigating through traffic.

Code.org Partnering with a growing number of different organizations, such as the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association), SAS, Yahoo!, Apple, Google, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Code.org is asking teachers, parents, and kids to join the Hour of Code, December 7-13 to observe Computer Science Awareness Week and introduce coding in education. Register now and begin using Code.org’s tools for teaching coding to students.

Before using any of the resources listed above, overcome fear of coding by realizing that anyone can do it after a little practice: students, artists, lawyers – and especially teachers!

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Dorothy Crouch is a California-based writer who has covered many topics such as financial technology, travel and the pet-goods industry. Born and raised in New York City, she pursued her undergraduate degree at Hunter College and an M.S., Publishing degree through Pace University. Combining her love of learning and curiosity of the world, Dorothy studied abroad at Dublin, Ireland’s Trinity College, igniting a passion for travel. Dorothy’s thirst for knowledge and love of learning has led her to travel the world and pursue higher learning, including scuba certification. A lifelong animal lover, Dorothy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their fish and two lovable, spoiled dogs.

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