The Prenda Blog

One reason to choose libraries instead of schools

Every time I share my vision of free computer programming for kids and teens, I get the same question: "why are you focusing on libraries instead of schools?" It's tough to answer, because there are 78 million kids at school all day, a place that exists for the sole...

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Can you run a Code Club?

Two years ago, I walked into a computer lab filled with 8-13 year olds and stood awkwardly in the front of the room. I gave them a URL and encouraged them to read, tinker and work through tutorials, first steps on the path to teaching themselves to code in javascript....

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What I learned in a weekend of coding with 110 kids

A few weeks ago, I helped organize the Great Arizona Code Challenge. It is the largest computer programming competition ever held for kids in Arizona. Here is a video from the event: Given the inaugural nature of the event, there was a lot to learn. Here is a list of...

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And the winners are…

Last weekend was the first annual "Great Arizona Code Challenge," a statewide coding competition for kids and teens. Well over 100 kids showed up with computers and keen brains. They came, they saw, and they coded. And they proved that the future is bright - not only...

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What I learned from my ALA hotel experience

I was a very late addition to the annual meeting of the American Library Association, deciding on Wednesday that I would come to San Francisco for the weekend for some library learning. I had recently placed a focus on libraries as the ideal host for Code Clubs, with...

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The Story of Code Club – in a GIF

I had an opportunity to talk about Code Club with a roomful of technology-savvy librarians today. It was fascinating to simulate the coding program we run in public libraries, but with grownups. We went to through a live simulation of a functioning Code Club, watching...

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Coding at the Library – a few examples

At Prenda, our goal is to introduce as many kids as possible to the wonders of computer programming. We think the public library (supercharged with the internet) is the perfect place to do it. Fortunately we are not the only ones who feel this way. Over the past few...

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Why I never answer questions at Code Club

It's hard to learn how to code (but totally worth the effort). The concepts are hard, including everything from variables to loops to conditional logic to functions. The syntax and vocabulary are hard to master. Getting a project to actually work feels daunting and at...

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Great advice for learning to code

Even though her target audience is librarians that want to learn coding, I thought the points made by Andromeda Yelton in her article "Learning to Code" (May 2015 American Libraries magazine) are perfectly applicable to aspiring coders of any age and profession. In...

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Are you “game?”

When I started a Code Club in August of 2013, I was a little nervous about my technical skills. Even though I have done a lot of informal programming as a physics student, management consultant, and a hobbyist, I had never built commercial software. I had never...

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