CSEdWeek and Beyond: Coding with Your Kids at Home

By Saskia Leggett, Scratch Outreach Manager

Each year, students around the globe will be introduced to coding during Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), a week dedicated to inspiring students to engage in computer science. During this year’s event (December 5–11), many students will spend an hour or so working through a coding activity as part of the Hour of Code initiative.

Yet CSEdWeek isn’t the only time your kids can try computer coding; they can create, experiment, and learn with code year-round, in the classroom and at home. You can continue the learning beyond CSEdWeek by coding Scratch projects with your child, exploring interest-based tutorials and resources, and discovering more about creative computing throughout the year.

The Scratch Team sees coding as a form of expression, where children can make projects about things they care about while creating with code. We believe that children are most engaged when they are creating projects that are personally meaningful. While the hour-long experiences can spark curiosity, fostering a deep connection with coding requires more time to explore and create.

As professor Mitch Resnick, head of the MIT Scratch Team, notes, “no single project will be meaningful to all kids. So if we want to engage all kids — from many different backgrounds, with many different interests — we need to support a wide diversity of pathways and projects.”

Scratch is designed to support the creation of different types of projects, so kids can make what they feel passionate about: they can create their own games, but also interactive stories, art, music, animations, and simulations.

Scratch is a free, easy to use, blocks-based programming language and online community designed for children ages 8 and older. Scratch was created and is maintained by the Scratch Team at the MIT Media Lab.

We believe that parents can play key roles as connectors, facilitators, collaborators, and cheerleaders for their children as they start to see themselves as creators and become empowered to express themselves with a computer. For many children, this learning will begin during CSEdWeek at school, but you can continue the learning at home.

To help support parents and families during CSEdWeek and beyond, we will be providing targeted activities, tips, and explainers throughout the year. The Scratch Team has been thinking a lot about what we can do to support parents in 2017, and we’re excited to share our ideas and learn with you.

Ready to dive in? Start here:

What will you make together?

Our thoughts on engaging parents are influenced by Family Creative Learning, a project of Ricarose Roque, PhD.

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