You heard me say this before. Coding is the new literacy. On March 26, EdSurge released a new Coding Guide, including a guide for summer coding camps. They invited me to write an article to explain why parents need to learn to code. I believe they do in order to inspire their children in their STEM learning and computer science endeavors.
“We all read to our children from a young age and encourage them to write. We do not expect them to become novelists or journalists, but we know these skills are a pathway to productivity and prosperity. It’s the same with coding.”
Exciting news from Washington, DC. on March 23, 2015. With the White House Science Fair as a backdrop, President Obama announced a huge funding boost for STEM education and pledged $240M STEM education campaign. $90M in Federal funds will expand STEM opportunities for underrepresented youth like girls and those in the minority. In addition, a coalition of corporate CEO’s pledged $150M for a philanthropic effort aimed at expanding high-quality STEM education programs for the benefit of 1.5M more students in 2015. (Photo © Scripps Wire: “Obama ‘amazed’ by student science fair demonstrations”)
Next up on my Austin agenda is SXSWInteractive – from March 13-17, 2015. The annual SXSWInteractive Festival is an incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity, featuring the best new websites, video games, and startup ideas the world has to offer. SXSWInteractive has definitely become the place to preview the technology ideas of the future and the people who invent and execute them well. This year, there was a special section on gaming and learning. I joined Erik Martin (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology), Gary Hoover (CEO, Bigwig Games) and Lonny Stern (Senior Director of Business Development, Skillpoint Alliance) on stage for the panel, “Gaming in Education, Education in Gaming” to talk about the effects of adding game design and coding to schools’ curriculum, and how it can be integrated into traditional and nontraditional educational settings. It was a great talk with fantastic feedback. My SXSWInteractive experience was enhanced especially by my colleagues at the M.I.T. Media Lab Lounge, featuring this year the theme of Synthetic Biology. Here are some tweets from my SXSWInteractive experience. Can’t wait for next year.