Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mitch Resnick: Let's Teach Kids to Code (TED Talk)

Mitch Resnick: Let's Teach Kids to Code

Quantitative Reading Level:   

This TED talk is designed for educators but high school students could listen to and understand the talk as well.

Qualitative Reading Analysis: 

 This TED talk could be classified as Middle Low on the “Text Complexity: Qualitative Measures Rubric for Informational Text”.  Although this isn’t a text one can still look at some of the features of the talk.  Mitch Resnick is conversational and uses demonstrations of the program Scratch to illustrate his points.  He compares teaching kids to code with teaching kids to read and write.  There is some discipline specific language but not too much.  


In this TED talk Mitch Resnick presents his reasons why kids should be taught to code.  Mitch Resnick is the director of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab and Scratch which is a program designed to teach children to code and Computer Clubhouse which is an afterschool program.  Mitch Resnick believes that although children are consumers of computer software and programs they also need to be producers as well.  He compares the current status as knowing how to read but not knowing how to write.  Mr. Resnick believes that learning how to code will help students know more about computers, help them become problem solvers, help them become more persistent, and it teaches them to think.

Curriculum Suggestions:   

Coding does not really have a place in most school curriculum.  In high school one might find an elective in coding.  A teacher might be able to sneak a unit in coding in math or science at the end of the year if every other topic is covered.  Other options are to have an afterschool coding club, a lunch group, or coding during a study hall or activity period.

Personal Thoughts:

I am currently taking LIBR 240 and I had many people ask why I needed to learn how to code when there are so many templates or you can just hire someone to do it.  For me, I like the challenge of learning to code and the problem solving required.  Why should I pay for someone else to do something I could learn to do myself?  For our students coding could be a door to an exciting, constantly changing field, a chance to develop problem solving skills, or just an opportunity to see what lies behind the technology they use every day.  I would love to start a club at my school and teach kids to code.

High Interest Annotation: Should kids learn to code?  Mitch Resnick explains why he thinks they should.

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