Limited available staff is a reality for most libraries, resulting in very real challenges for starting new programs in new content areas. When the Normal (IL) Public Library (NPL) began planning computational thinking (CT) activities we asked ourselves, What do you do to meet your community need when your in-house toolkit lacks necessary resources like computer science (CS) & CT knowledge, available staff, and time?
How can libraries increase access to coding education, especially for potential patrons who were previously underserved by library programs? Julianne Wise, Rochester International Academy (RIA) librarian, and Sarah Ryan, Montessori Academy librarian, teamed up to develop strategies that address this question.
Workforce development conversations and concerns about the readiness of today’s students for tomorrow’s IT field often focus on schools. Libraries, however, can play a vital role in connecting youth to computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) opportunities and connections for learning across time and place. How can libraries establish their role as an anchor and broker in the community for youth CT learning?
This 20-minute slide presentation details how the Independence (Kan.) Public Library worked with youth to gain computational thinking skills through Scratch, Python and the FarmBot app, which they used to build their own FarmBot for the library garden.
While families with preschoolers have established times they visit the library, for example for weekly story hour, it is challenging to bring in these families for other programming. This is particularly true for topic areas that may be unfamiliar or unrecognized as connected to valuable preschool and early education literacies. How can we engage preschool learners and their families in quality computational thinking (CT)activities appropriate for that age group?
Can a coding program get youth connected with backyard nature? Absolutely! Governor Mifflin School District tested a district-wide collaborative model, called Feathered Friends. They used concepts from connected learning, design thinking and computational thinking (CT) with our Middle School and High School student engineers to create an authentic learning experience.
Extra-curricular learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are critical for young learners, often influencing future learning pathways. However, it is difficult to retain youth interest and engagement in voluntary programming, especially in middle and high school years when there is more choice and competing uses of time. How can I keep youth engaged?
Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, Belmar Elementary School (BES) started its first-ever computer science club, Coding Connects BES, which connected coding to mentoring. BES 4th-8th grade students attended a weekly coding club that focuses on their personal interests, including video game design, fashion and music.
Library staff frequently question why they should integrate computational thinking (CT) literacy into the activities they provide with and for youth and families. Many have never heard the term before, are anxious about computers and technology in general, and/or may consider it another fad they are being asked to address. How can library staff gain deeper understanding of CT and comfort bringing CT literacy to the activities they provide for and with youth and families?
In this video Ak-Chin Indian Community (Maricopa, AZ) librarian Jeffrey Stoffer celebrates the accomplishments of students in their Libraries Ready to Code program, Game Hacker: Making, Fixing, Breaking. See how young people participating in Game Hacker are learning skills that will enable them to succeed in any future opportunity they pursue.