Author Name: Dr. Yasmin Kafai and Dr. Quinn Burke
Posted: November 18, 2019
Paragraph: Our names are Dr. Yasmin Kafai and Dr. Quinn Burke, and our book Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming is used in a course offered at Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne. Dr. Yasmin is the Milken President's Distinguished Professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education, and Quinn is a Senior Research Scientist in the Learning Sciences at Digital Promise Global's San Mateo Office.
We wrote Connected Code specifically with K-12 instructors in mind. When we started writing in 2013, it was clear that coding in schools clearly was experiencing a genuine renaissance. Pundits and policy-makers alike pointed to the economic benefits of programming as a skill and computer science (CS) as a discipline. What was important to us, however, was communicating with teachers the power of code not simply as an economic lever but as a veritable literacy for young learners. Code—across disciplines such as math, English, social studies, and science—was a means to truly tap into the potential of the computers to visualize the abstract, share stories and ideas, and express one's own identity. As chapter titles such as "From Code to Applications" and "From Tools to Communities" convey, early computer programming is best conceived as a social activity, optimally to be introduced to children not as a myriad of 0's and 1's but as an opportunity to create games, digital stories, and interactive textiles with and for each other. It is here where the role of the teacher is crucial—and we think the imperative nature of the book's title is as relevant as ever.
Now, nearly six years after the book's initial publication, coding's ascent around the globe and within the United States continues, with some 40 states having adopted CS standards for K-12 implementation. While there is no shortage of standards nor tools and curricula for integrating programming and computational thinking into United States classrooms, what we still lack is sustained teacher capacity. Recruiting, developing, and supporting K-12 instructors to teach coding is the number one challenge facing the CS for All movement. To the extent that our book helps address such a gap with current and soon-to-be instructors, we are grateful.
I just completed this course. Fabulous books. I have already started implementing coding practice with my students. I highly recommend this course, especially if you are hesitant to begin coding.