Thoughts on Code Year, Codecademy, and Learning to Code (with C5 Side Note)
The blog piece below is the most biting criticism I’ve read of Codecademy. (And of course, I’m always glad to read someone else pushing context as important for computing education!) The author has a very good point quote below. I’m not sure that we know how to achieve the goals of Code Year. It’s amazing that Codecademy has raised $2.5M to support Code Year, but I do wonder if there’s a better use for that money–one that moves us closer to the goal of ubiquitous computing literacy.
Learning anything without context is hardly learning. I wish that Code Year was 2013 and 2012 was “some smart people with good ideas and a lot of money built took the time to build great pedagogically-driven tool to really solve an existing problem for folks who want and need training in this area.”
Side note: I should be visiting with Alan Kay in 4 or 5 hours. He’s introducing my keynote at the C5 Conference (http://www.cm.is.ritsumei.ac.jp/c5-12/), which I’m excited about. Two of the C’s of C5 is “creating” and “computing,” and my talk is going to be about the challenges of supporting everyone in creating (for me, including “programming”) with computing. I’m going to tell the MediaComp story, talk about Brian Dorn’s work with graphics designers, and with Klara Benda’s and Lijun Ni’s work that tells us about teachers’ needs to learn computer science.