Code Literacy Doesn’t Need To Come At The Expense Of Other Skills
My latest piece for TechCrunch:
This week President Barack Obama rekindled a couple of the Internet’s favorite debates: whether it’s appropriate to take selfies at funerals, and whether everyone should learn to code.
As part of Computer Science Education Week, Obama delivered a YouTube address titled “President Obama calls on every American to learn code.” [...]
But I think we can all agree that learning programming shouldn’t detract from other educational objectives, like reading, writing and math. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to. In fact, it can be combined with other skills.
Full Story: TechCrunch: Code Literacy Doesn’t Need To Come At The Expense Of Other Skills
Khan Academy Now Includes Interactive Programming Tutorials
I covered the Khan Academy’s new interactive programming tutorials for Wired:
Since 2006 the Khan Academy, named for its founder Salman Khan, has provided free video lectures on subjects such as mathematics, biology and history. As we’ve reported before Khan garnered praise from the likes of Bill Gates (whose foundation invested $1.5 million in the site), but other have been more critical of the lecture-driven approach. Thus far the site has only included prerecorded lectures that offered no feedback or interaction.
That’s changing today with Khan Academy’s new computer science section.
The tutorials are interactive and live entirely in the browser. Instead of a video, each lesson contains a pane on the left side for students to enter code and a pane on the right that displays the output. The first lesson walks students through the process of writing code that will draw a face in the right pane. After learning to generate graphics, students work up to animation and eventually to games, such as a Pac-Man clone.
Rather than have students write code and then run it to see if it works, the results of changes are displayed in the right pane immediately, providing immediate feedback. The lessons also include tips for solving common beginner problems.
Wired: Coders Get Instant Gratification With Khan Academy Programming
Ending the Tyranny of the Lecture
Author Teaches Kids to Code Without Computers