Coding is programming language that makes it possible to create computer software, apps and websites. From Bill Gates of Microsoft to Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, technology leaders say more kids should learn to code because it is now an essential skill that will play an integral part in their futures.
They also stress we need to get more girls interested in the technology industry. The National Center for Women and Information Technology cites a statsitic from the US Department of Labor that estimates by 2020 there will be more than 1.4 million computing-related job openings. However, at current rates only 30% of those jobs can be filled by girls.
I spent a day with Girls Learning Code at one of their workshops, which focus on how learning to code empowers girls to move from consumers to producers of digital media. They use kid-friendly tools like Scratch to create video games – digital experiences they can make and use. I interviewed workshop facilitators Laura Plant, Ashley Lewis and Kathryn Barrett about why girls should learn code, the importance of creating digital media, and the online tools available to children. We also talked about tips for parents, tips for kids and the importance of mentorship.
Here's a video showing how Girls Learning Code works:
More video from Girls Learning Code:
More from TVOKids and TVOParents:
- TVOKids Teacher Zone offers videos and lesson plans for teachers with interactive whiteboards in the classroom.
- Digital Literacy: The Fourth 'R' is the first article in TVOParents' series on digital literacy.
- Mark Surman of the Mozilla Foundation discusses his thoughts on learning in the digital world.
- Catherine Bruce of Trent University has been researching the value of digital technology in the classroom such as the use of touch technology.
- Kathy Cassidy, a primary school teacher in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on the value of social media in the classroom.
- Kathryn Meisner of Hive Toronto discusses her thoughts on "making to learn" in the digital world.
- Lisa Guernsey of the Early Education Initiative of New America Foundation gives tips on screen time.
- Bryce Honsinger uses digital technology to teach history.
- Nicole Hoang uses digital technology to teach math.
- Students at Joyce Public School created digital graphic novels to share their personal immigration stories.