November 20, 2017

How To Talk Code | Digital Literacy

Last summer, Bloomberg BusinessWeek devoted an entire issue to “What Is Code?” a single article by Brooklyn-based writer and programmer Paul Ford. Ford’s breakdown of key concepts pulls back the curtain on the fundamentals of computer programming and makes a compelling argument that any smart person can learn the basics—and that the basics are worth learning even for those who aren’t planning to become professional coders. It is, in part, a case for coding as a new frontier in digital literacy. There’s a growing interest in this type of education among kids, teens, businesspeople, career changers, and the generally curious. And a growing number of public libraries are already responding to this need within their communities. Here’s a look at ways in which a few libraries have made their programs a success.

Evolution of a Maker Space, From “Monstie Stuffie” Projects to a Giant Catapult

Colleen Graves, SLJ Maker Workshop speaker and 2014 School Librarian of the Year Finalist, describes how her little middle school library maker space grew to encompass an inter-school catapult challenge, an international network, and the support and enthusiasm of teachers.

Ready to Learn Coding? Here are resources. Plus: Teaching with Scratch| The Maker Issue

Resources for learning to code online and face to face, from Khan Academy to Black Girls Code; and suggested lesson plans using Scratch.

SLJ Reviews LittleBits: These bright, appealing sets encourage tinkerers to explore electronics

Imagine if building a flashlight was as easy as stacking blocks, or that you could build a robot with a shoebox, nine-volt battery, and a pile of components small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Enter LittleBits, a modular, à la carte electronics prototyping platform for users of all skill levels