Because learn to code is not limited to sitting in front of a computer
In a previous post, I introduced how you, as a parent, can encourage your kids to code after they took a coding workshop.What about kids who don’t have access to coding workshops? What about girls who think that is not cool to code, or that robotics is just for boys?
One way to get more girls interested in technology is through the wonderful books from the non-profit organization Girls who Code.Reshma Saujani founded Girls Who Code with a single mission: to close the gender gap in technology. The Girls Who Code books complement their learning programs. Plus, they allow kids to learn key principles of computational thinking without a screen.
A non-fiction book to share the vision
I started my IT career writing technical manuals, back in 1991. I know how hard it is to engage the readers of any user manuals. Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World does it brilliantly.
It’s filled with positive role models, positive messages, and meaningful projects for girls. This New York Times Bestseller book addresses many shortcomings of the one-time workshop by providing a methodology, by breaking down the process, and by giving girls a reason to do the steps in a specific order. It teaches girls that there is a lot that happens before you write your first line of code on any project. It explains to children why projects are done this way.
It’s not just for girls. After I read an excerpt to an educational male teacher, he commented that the well-written how-to guide and explanations would appeal to anyone, not just girls. He put a request to get at least a copy for his school’s library.
Activities books for doers
These are great to carry around and start a project without a screen. Code It! Create It!: Ideas & Inspiration for Coding is a learning journal that is all about the creative process that is involved when you do a digital project.
Crack the Code!: Activities, Games, and Puzzles That Reveal the World of Coding is a learning by doing book that involves brainstorming, journaling, crafting, and gradually learning complex topics. When I previewed it online, I wanted to do the activities right away. I bookmarked it since it would make a great birthday gift for middle-school girls.
Fiction books for bedtime stories
The Girls Who Code series is a novel series. You follow the adventures of 5 sixth grade girls that are in a coding club. Imagine “The Babysitters Club” for girls interested in coding and robotics. Each book is from the voice of one of the 5 main characters. The stories are as much as about social situations for middle-grade girls, teamwork, and friendship as they are about coding and robotics.
Three books has been published so far — the Friendship Code, Team BFF and Lights, Music, Code! — with a fourth one due October 2nd, 2018.
+ photo credits: Girls Who Code on Facebook