Learning to Code, or Coding to Learn?
What if learning to code were as common as learning to read and write? According to Daily Edventures alum Mitchel Resnick, it should be.
Resnick, professor of Learning Research at MIT and creator of Scratch – the online community where children learn to program and share interactive stories, games, and animations, believes fluency in new technologies is the key to our children’s future. And while he acknowledges that the “digital native” students of this generation are indeed adept at interacting with technology of all kinds, he argues that isn’t enough to make a difference. “It’s as if they can ‘read’ but not ‘write’ with new technologies,” he says. “I’m interested in helping young people become fluent so they can ‘write’ with new technologies. That means they need to be able to write their own computer programs or code.”
In his TEDx Beacon Street talk, Resnick shares his view on why computer science – specifically learning to code – should be a “must have” in classrooms today. “When you learn to read, you can then read to learn. And it’s the same thing with coding: If you learn to code, you can code to learn,” he says. “Learning to code means learning how to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively. And these skills are applicable to any profession — as well as to expressing yourself in your personal life, too.”
So, as we continue to celebrate Computer Science Education Week, take a look at Resnick’s TEDx talk, and visit one of his many recommended sites that will show you just how fun it can be to learn how to code, including – of course – Scratch, Girls Who Code, Codeacademy, Udacity, and so many more. Share these sites with your students, friends and family. Let’s help create a world of “fluent” digital natives who code to learn.