Learn to Code, Code to Learn

| October 22, 2013 | 19 Comments
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In this demo-filled talk MIT’s Mitch Resnick, one of the main creators of the kids coding program called Scratch, outlines the benefits of teaching kids to code, so they can do more than just “read” new technologies — but also create them.

“As kids are creating projects like this, they’re learning to code, but even more importantly, they’re coding to learn. Because as they learn to code, it enables them to learn many other things, opens up many new opportunities for learning. Again, it’s useful to make an analogy to reading and writing. When you learn to read and write, it opens up opportunities for you to learn so many other things. When you learn to read, you can then read to learn. And it’s the same thing with coding. If you learn to code, you can code to learn. Now some of the things you can learn are sort of obvious. You learn more about how computers work. But that’s just where it starts. When you learn to code, it opens up for you to learn many other things.”

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  • Victor C. Valle

    Scratch link is broken/has an extra “w”

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  • Brandy Jackson

    I taught 6th grade kids how to program an animated fabel and a maze game in a total of 9 45 minute classes. Last year I had 4 teachers come ask me to show them the program because kids had made projects using it. One kid made a water table animation, another made a vocabulary review, there was a book report, and a teacher appreciation day game. Kids loved it and used it to learn more. The fact that it is free is amazing, so glad I teach coding.

  • Claribel Pérez

    I used Scratch for teach CS Principles to high school students with no experience to code.Thanks, MIT and UC Berkeley/North Carolina…Beauty and Joy of Computing (http://bjc.berkeley.edu/)

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  • Jon

    I’ve always appreciated Mitch’s analogy of ‘coding as writing’. “It’s not just about learning to design, but starting to see yourself as a
    designer. It’s great when we see kids starting to see themselves in a
    new way: ‘I can create things, I can express myself. I don’t just have
    to be a reader, I can be a writer’.” http://bit.ly/12RcObF

    • silvioPilone

      Both abilities are essential, not only about kids.

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  • Kellwhy

    Looking for this type of class for my 6th grader. Any info is appreciated!

  • Latonia Baker

    Nice Video! I think learning how to code teaches kids about thinking critically, and the importance of process driven tasks. It also gives them a bit of confidence in having the ability to pick up tech-related subjects. These skills can help them later in life regardless of whether they become programmers in the professional sense.

    There are several resources out there for kids that mix learning and fun, such as iD Tech 365 . Placing our kids in programs like these can give them an introductory experience to learning how to code, and learning how think creatively.

  • http://www.sitandstandstrollerguide.com/ ShelleyDN

    Very helpful. By the way, how young should a child start to learn how to read codes? I don’t see an appropriate age for a child to start learning the code. And I agree with the analogy that when you teach other children on how to code, you also learn on how to do it as well.

    http://readingmastered.com

    • silvioPilone

      All should be made gradually.

  • Anjel

    As a student who used coding in a number of classes in high school I can attest to Resnick’s argument that coding can help students better remember information, and if nothing else, better apply information they learn in class to their lives. I also like the analogy of fluency vs. literacy in technology. I think this was very accurate.

    Though I agree with this talk I am a little uneasy about how to implement this in my future classroom. I have seen coding taught and applied to high school classes but I am studying to be a elementary teacher. At what age should we start teaching coding? How do I apply coding to elementary students?

  • silvioPilone

    Really original and use
    ful.

  • William cooney

    that’s really helpful. i have been teaching at a school and we try to follow strategies that can helpkidsread. its fun to convey your knowledge to others.

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