Did you know? This week is National Computer Science Week! You may have heard about the Hour of Code, a fun event to get students interested in computer science. The Hour of Code can happen at any place (like the library!) at any time.
The Hour of Code doesn't necessarily need to only be an hour, either. You can turn it into a weekly class or a regular event for patrons to work on coding projects. I've compiled some ideas and tutorials from Hour of Code as well as from a short presentation from the Santa Clara County Library on coding for teens at the California Library Association (CLA) annual conference.
Ready, Set, Code!
If you've never done one before, putting together a coding class or event might seem daunting. What if you don't have anybody on staff who is proficient in code?
Don't worry — that's what volunteers are for! In the CLA presentation, the librarians said they reached out to local tech companies, colleges, and high schools.
If you can't find a volunteer, you can still host a coding club. Whatever you plan doesn't necessarily need to be a class; you can invite people to code and help each other on various projects or tutorials.
Coding for Kids
If you're a children's librarian or a parent, you probably know how huge the movie Frozen is. Hour of Code created this brilliant tutorial where you can code with Anna and Elsa (characters from the movie).
- Frozen might not be everyone's thing, so there's also an Angry Birds coding tutorial.
- Tynker lets kids build their own games through learning code for both tablets and mobile phones.
- This introductory tutorial from Code.org is a great way to get kids in K – 8 interested in coding.
- Scratch is a coding community with tutorials for kids 8 through 16, but it's used by learners of all ages. A project of MIT, Scratch is a fun way to get the whole family involved in code.
Tools for Teens and Tweens
- Targeted at high school students, Karel the Dog guides students on commands (like to a dog) and functions.
Adults Can Learn to Code, Too!
- Khan Academy also has coding courses for adults! Check out the computer science catalog.
- Over on TechSoup.org, I put together some coding resources for nonprofits. Many of these can be adapted for an adult coding class or program.
More Resources on Coding and Libraries
- Teen Librarian Toolbox: Start a Coding Club
- North Dakota State Library Field Notes: Coding Club Resources
- How the Glen Carbon Centennial Library is celebrating the Hour of Code (news article)
- IT Hare's A Beginner’s Guide to Programming Languages
- Vodien's Beginner’s Resources to Learn Programming Languages
Have you started a coding club or a class at your library? Tell us about it in the comments!