The rumblings of change

The education of would-be coders rightly stirs a lot of passion within our industry. There are some great initiatives already underway. Here’s a run down of the some of the projects, campaigns and software and notable blog posts already out there.

Coding for Kids
Coding for Kids is an industry wide movement designed “…to support education of programming and computational thinking for the current and next generations in the UK.” at their in augural bar camp each attendee made a pledge to do one thing each. You can make a pledge here. You can follow them on twitter @codingforkids

Emma Mulqueeny
Emma Mulqueeny is part of the Coding for Kids movement and runs Young Rewired State. Emma wrote a great blog post about teaching kids to code and started a petition to introduce coding as part of the curriculum in year 5. Sign it here.

Coder Dojo
Coder Dojo is a movement of free coding clubs for young people. Whilst the movement is international the existing Dojo’s appear just to be in Ireland, North America and Canada. The idea behind local community led coding club events is great, the only problem with Coder Dojo is that it doesn’t offer any type of lesson plans to get the enthusiastic teacher started.

Mozilla
Mozilla are huge supporters of open learning on the web and created Hackasaurus to help teach children the basics of mark-up by mashing up pre-existing web pages. They have great supporting materials too including cheat sheets and lesson plans for teaching ‘web-making’. Follow them at @hackasaurus

Anna Debenham
Anna has been a champion of teaching kids to code for a long time – she gave a great talk about it at Update Conference last year. Anna tried teaching with Hackasaurus in two tech savvy schools and ran into a bunch of logistical issues. She wrote about her experience here. Anna also runs ScrunchedUp – a web magazine for young designers and developers who are looking for some good advice on careers in our industry.

Software for kids (a small selection)
Scratch – a visual programming language aimed at teaching children the concepts of programming without too much confusing syntax.

Hackety Hack – teaches the basics of programming (using Ruby) with no previous knowledge required at all.

Codecademy – The gamification of learning to code. I would say this is less child friendly as there is very little visual feedback but it’s still worth a good look.
So there is a lot going on already. If you think there is something we need to know about then please drop us an email. We’re always eager to learn!


7 thoughts on “The rumblings of change

  1. Andrew Jones says:

    Inspired by the Raspberry Pi I went into my daughters school last month to teach the KS2 kids some games programming with Scratch. Please see http://alquistconsulting.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/programming-with-scratch.html with links to the school website and photos of the event (and the Scratch worksheet). I agree it’s critical to get kids into programming rather than just using software. I got into it years ago with the ZX80 and BBC Micro and think it’s critical for the UK to encourage kids into this field.

  2. Adam says:

    Very interesting work – I think this will challenge secondary school IT. I teach programming using scratch in Year 7 and HTML and javascript in Year 8 and then in Year 9 we look at code cademy, Ruby, Python, YouSRC and then Game Maker. I think if this does hit many primary schools then we will have to look at bringing down more programming in Year 7. I am still not completely happy about the changes with IT and I will carry on giving students a wide range of experiences with IT rather than just programming. I also run a programming club for students really interested to explore and learn more in depth. Good luck with everything. Hope it all goes well and keep everyone on their toes :)

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