(This post continues the discussion in this previous post.)
The board at EdcampPhilly was quickly filling up and a session appeared that grabbed my attention, Everyone Can and Should Learn to Program, Shouldn’t They? I quickly scanned the other sessions being offered at that time, weighed the options and decided to join Laura Blankenship and a handful of other educators interested in the debate. She facilitated a great discussion and shared many valuable resources about how her students learn coding.
It was very motivating session that has since spawned a number of ideas and brought me to think much more about my current interest in learning HTML (see link at the beginning of this post). Here are the tentacles that have extended outward from that inspiring hour at EdcampPhilly:
- Based on Laura’s work and with inspiration from the growing coding/maker movements, I opened a wiki dedicated to curating resources for parents, teachers, and students interesting in constructing in both the digital environment and the analog. It is open to public editors. Please contribute.
- It also helped push an idea forward that my friend Dave Zirkle and I had been passing around: the idea of hosting an educational hackathon to New Jersey (in planning stages now). Here are two links to better understand the purpose and power of a hackathon:
A comment from Kevin on my last post parallels my thinking on the topic of Should Everyone Learn to Code? It helps to put my internal debate to rest:
If you’re doing it (coding) just because you’re curious and want to dabble in it to see what that realm is like, then maybe it’s not so much “worth your time”. But in the case that you have a goal or desire to benefit the education system by intertwining these new skills with the way you teach or work with your students, or even with other teachers… that’s definitely a promising combination.
But it doesn’t take long to realize if you’re just spinning your wheels or if you’re actually enjoying the experience of expanding your knowledge and abilities.
Maybe the answer to that question should focus instead on individuals asking themselves a different question, “Should I learn to code? or Is it worth it for me?” And as with many avenues whether old or new, we have to weigh the benefits against the time/energy investment, evaluate, be critical yet optimistic and ultimately be open to quitting.
Quit the wrong stuff, stick with the right stuff – Seth Godin