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Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani: Why An ‘Hour of Code’ Isn’t Enough

Ed Surge – Mary Jo Madda

” It’s no shock to anyone—there is a gender disparity problem in the computer science world. The computing industry’s rate of job creation in the United States may be three times that of other industries, but the number of females attaining computer science degrees is falling, as U.S. News reports: “In 1984, 37 percent of computer science majors were women, but by 2014, that number had dropped to 18 percent.” However, Reshma Saujani doesn’t think the issues merely lie in offering girls more opportunities to learn. Rather, it’s a problem of culture and consistency. “A girl doing an ‘hour of code’ is not going to have an epiphany that is going to convert her,” she tells EdSurge.”(more)

Why coding needs a stronger emphasis in every school

E-School News – Cindy Wallace

“If you have been to an educational technology conference in the last 5 years, you have seen more and more emphasis placed on coding and robotics with robots making an appearance in conference sessions, at after hour gatherings, and certainly in the vendor hall. This is simply a reflection of what is happening in the private sector. In 2015, it was reported that there was $71 billion spent globally on robotic applications, a figure that is expected to more than double by 2019. Europe is already adjusting its curriculum to include robots both as a teaching tools and as a technology for students to study, but why? By 2018, it is estimated that 71 percent of new STEM positions will be related to computing; it is apparent that computer science is the future of the job market.”(more)

MIT’s Scratch Program Is Evolving For Greater, More Mobile Creativity

KQED News Mind/Shift- Katrina Schwartz

“Mitch Resnick has been working on how to give students new avenues of creative expression for over a decade. His Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab develops Scratch, one of the most popular coding programs for kids, which is based on the seminal work of Seymour Papert, who died in 2016. When Resnick thinks about the guiding philosophy behind Scratch, he thinks of one of its users — Ipzy.”(more)

How Online Camps Help Kids Stay Connected to STEM Skills and Mentors Year-Round

KQED News Mind/Shift – Paul Darvarsi

“California-based Connected Camps is part of a growing offering of online camps that fill a unique niche to complement their traditional pine-and-mortar counterparts. Accessible across the U.S. and around the world, the camp offers programs in engineering, architecture, coding, animation, game design and storytelling, all hosted on custom Minecraft servers or delivered with MIT’s Scratch coding software. Each weeklong program connects kids with fellow campers and expert mentors who support the participants and share their expertise.”(more)

In Finland, Kids Learn Computer Science Without Computers

The Atlantic – Emily DeRuy

“The Finns are pretty bemused by Americans’ preoccupation with whether to put iPads in every classroom. If a tablet would enhance learning, great. If it wouldn’t, skip it. Move on. The whole thing is a little tilting-at-windmills, anyway. That was the gist of the conversation one recent morning at the Finnish Embassy in Washington, D.C., where diplomats and experts gathered to celebrate the country’s education accomplishments as Finland turns 100. And Americans could stand to take notes. (Yes, from Finland—again.) Coding and programming are now part of the curriculum in the Scandinavian country, and they’re subjects kids tackle from a young age. But unlike in some parts of the United States where learning to code is an isolated skill, Finnish children are taught to think of coding and programming more as tools to be explored and utilized across multiple subjects.”(more)

Um…so what do teachers do now after the Hour of Code?

E-School News – Meris Stansbury

“Yearly one-day events meant to promote critical subject areas not taught within traditional curriculum, like computer science and coding, are great for awareness. But outside of these specific days, how can teachers continue seamlessly integration of the concepts learned? What resources are available outside of those provided by the Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek)? And are these resources good for teachers not well-versed in coding? These are the main questions experts answered during edWeb.net’s celebration of CSEdWeek (December 5-11), an annual initiative that aims to inspire K-12 students to take interest in computer science. During this annual program, schools around the world host their own Hour of CodeTM. Organized by Code.org, Hour of Code is a one-hour basic introduction designed to celebrate and expand participation in computer science.”(more)