Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning)
Why every child needs to learn to code: the shift from “computational thinking” to computational participation.
Coding, once considered an arcane craft practiced by solitary techies, is now recognized by educators and theorists as a crucial skill, even a new literacy, for all children. Programming is often promoted in K-12 schools as a way to encourage “computational thinking”—which has now become the umbrella term for understanding what computer science has to contribute to reasoning and communicating in an ever-increasingly digital world.
In Connected Code, Yasmin Kafai and Quinn Burke argue that although computational thinking represents an excellent starting point, the broader conception of “computational participation” better captures the twenty-first-century reality. Computational participation moves beyond the individual to focus on wider social networks and a DIY culture of digital “making.”
Kafai and Burke describe contemporary examples of computational participation: students who code not for the sake of coding but to create games, stories, and animations to share; the emergence of youth programming communities; the practices and ethical challenges of remixing (rather than starting from scratch); and the move beyond stationary screens to programmable toys, tools, and textiles.
Praise for Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning)
The list of references and cross-referenced studies and material is impressive. If you are, or want to be, involved in educating children, then this book is an essential read.—British Computer Society—
This book is as engaging as its catchy title suggests.
In their book, Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming, Yasmin B. Kafai and Quinn Burke draw from their own extensive experience teaching children to code. They argue that it is not simply enough for students to learn to code, but rather for all pupils to become computational participants in today's increasingly digital society. From this perspective, learning to program is to computational participation as writing is to literacy. Computational participation goes beyond programming to include collaboration in a maker society, just as literacy goes beyond the fundamental act of writing. In addition to advocating that everyone should learn to code, Connected Code presents the developing idea of computational participation, encouraging more productive, authentic, and creative learning through collaborative processes.
—Teachers College Record—