4 Ways to be Part of #HourofCode 2015 at my Library

Happy #HourofCode week!

For my library, this week is an anniversary. One year ago I began incorporating coding into our programs for kids and teens. Being able to code is a 21st century skill and fun, so the library is a natural place to offer opportunities to try coding and resources to take learning one step further. Coding lets kids and teens create media, instead of just consume it, which gives them a new platform for storytelling. Coding, and even hacking, also allows them to understand, actively participate in and help shape community conversations, many of which happen in the digital environment.

For those of you who may still be a little fearful of dabbling in code, just go for it! Use the idea of designing kid/teen programming as an excuse to learn a new skill. Be a lifelong learner! The basics are easy for most and the results are worth it.

So what am I doing this week? There are 4 ways to be part of the Hour of Code at my library:

  • Design a basic video game at the weekly Maker Club on Thursday, Dec 10, 3:30-5:30 (for ages 10-13) (We’ll be using Scratch, the Code.org tutorials, coding apps on our iPads, a Made w/Code tutorial featuring character from the movie Inside and Out. (We’ll also introduce kids to our new programmable Sphero balls at the Maker Club next week when we’ll integrate building with LEGOs to make challenge courses for the balls.)
  • Try Code.org’s Minecraft or Star Wars online coding tutorials loaded on the Kids’ Room computers. We’ve added icons next to the icons for Minecraft on the computers’ desktops in attempt to attract our afterschool Minecrafters. These free tutorials – and more – can also be accessed from anywhere HERE.
  • Create digital stories with code and the new PBSKIDS/ScratchJr app on the mounted iPad in our Kids’ Room (recommended for ages 5-8). This app is available for many tablets.
  • Check out a book on coding or programming to take home. We’ve created a list of the coding books for kids and teens that we have in our collection.

Planning a coding program and need help getting started? Check out this webinar on the #HourofCode I recently presented with my friend Daniel Cornwall at the Alaska State Library.

We’ve also created links on our website to other free resources that kids, teens and adults can explore on their own. They include:


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