The Prenda Code Club Blog

Stories and insights from the Prenda team on topics surrounding coding education.

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Why coding programs are exactly what libraries need in 2016

“If I had a nickel for every snarky comment about libraries being irrelevant since the internet…”

It’s probably not a surprise that libraries are under pressure. Sure, the cocktail party comments are annoying. But if the politicians with the purse strings think of the library as a repository for dusty books that everyone has already downloaded to their Kindles, then we have a problem.

Creativity is a beautiful thing.

Have you ever watched a child draw a picture? I find it beautiful. Like, sunset over the ocean beautiful. Planet Earth from space beautiful. It's the creation process. One moment there is a kid holding a crayon, looking at a blank sheet...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...