Which of these top 20 programming languages should your school teach?

One IT expert and educator discusses the how and why of choosing the right programming language

“Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.” -John Woods

programming-codeWay back in the 1970s, working as a computer programmer was quite prestigious, and if you wanted to get into computer programming, your potential employer would more often than not put you through a batch of aptitude tests in order to determine your suitability: even if you had a degree.

Nowadays, programming is more widespread and you don’t need a degree to be a programmer; it’s no longer mainly for scientists and engineers: students studying the humanities, English as a foreign language students, people building websites, and a whole host of other folks are learning to program. This non-technical article will give you novices [non-expert instructors] out there some basic guidance in choosing a programming language that is appropriate not only for your students’ needs, but for faculty and staff interested in online basics.…Read More

7 reasons why your school should teach robotics and game design

One teacher describes the big impact robotics, coding, and STEM has had on her students


I love every aspect of programming—the frustration, the creativity, everything. I taught myself and now I’m lucky enough to teach students how to code, build robots, and design mobile apps. I’m there to guide them, but the students, like me, are really learning these skills through their own hard work.

I think everyone should learn how to program and of course I’m no exception. My transformation from librarian-turned-tech facilitator to coding teacher started with a back room full of old busted computers. My school didn’t know what to do with them so I decided to fix them up and make them useful. Then I started thinking, “What else can I do?” I read something about Arduino and soon I was tinkering with parts, building, and programming anything I could get my hands on. It became a hobby.

When I moved to Plaquemine High School, near Baton Rouge, our principal had just written a big grant for the Dow Corp. to create a STEM program featuring elective classes in robotics and game design for 9-12th graders. When we got it, he asked me to design the curriculum, attend trainings, and teach the courses. It was a dream come true. Now I get to help students develop the creativity, logic, critical thinking, and career skills they need for the future. Here are seven reasons why every school should consider doing the same.…Read More

11 apps for coding: From beginners to masters

Coding, the hottest skill coming down the education pipeline, is also a mobile app star

coding-apps-educationAs students begin to not only use technology, but create it’s functionality, a recent explosion in coding resources have hit the web, providing coding apps ranging from introductions for beginners and middle-schoolers to more technical resources aimed at the tech-savvy.

From learning the basics of coding by making a dinosaur dance to more intermediate coding that requires working knowledge of HTML, and from a multiplayer robot combat game to app design, these programming apps provide an array of options for students, teachers and parents to become acquainted with one of the hottest subjects making the education rounds.

And be sure to check out the last page for our bonus: 4 web-based coding resources and games.…Read More

Zuck’s first major ed-tech investment? Panorama Education, the brainchild of a Yale coder

When Aaron Feuer was in high school, he helped write a bill for students to give feedback on their classes, VentureBeat reports. By the time he matriculated at Yale University, Feuer had picked up computer programming skills. He couldn’t shake the feeling that the bill wasn’t enough. School districts still needed a better way to poll students and teachers and incorporate the results. So he began building Panorama Education, which works with school districts to gather the requisite data they needed to improve education. Today, at the age of 22, Feuer closed $4 million in funding from Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million fund, Startup: Education. This is Startup:Education’s first national equity investment…

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