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The Worldwide Quest to Get More Women Involved in Computing Jobs

There’s no secret that more men than women currently work in computing jobs but what many people in the U.S. don’t realize is that this is by and large a global problem. A recent article titled ​CSIRO concerned with decline in young females studying computing details some of the concerns Australian officials have.

Asha Barbaschow writes, “The CSIRO’s Digital Careers education program has said it is alarmed at the lack of young females studying computer science at primary and secondary school, which is a national concern Australia needs to address if the country wants to meet the needs of the future workforce. In its report, Female participation in school computing: reversing the trend, Digital Careers says that social pressure, a lack of self-belief, and the perception that computer science is not suited for girls were identified as key factors influencing young female students.

To combat the social pressure influencing the decision of young females, the report suggests sustaining their interest in computing through intervention in years 7-8, which was highlighted as the time when participation and interest in such studies begins to decline. The report also found that while science, technology, mathematics, and science (STEM) studies have had a strong presence in mandatory schooling curriculum from kindergarten since the 1960s, computer science has not had the same exposure. The report did highlight that the percentage of women participating in STEM areas has been steadily increasing, however the number of women participating in computer science has continued to steadily decrease since the mid 1980s.

While university female participation rates are low, the report says that senior school female participation rates in computer education are lower still. “Student participation in senior high school computing subjects in Australia’s three most populous states, show a sustained decline from around 19,000 in 2007 to 13,000 in 2015,” the report says. In order to combat the skills shortage in females, Digital Careers suggests that initiatives linked to the school curriculum are most likely to be successful in normalising digital technologies subjects.”

At CodeREV we couldn’t agree more with the solutions outlined in this article: get girls involved at a younger age. That’s one of the reasons we’re so passionate about after-school programs and summer camps. Getting our kids involved in the fascinating world of coding and other computer technologies keeps their minds sharp and proves to them that they can do anything.

Kansas City Understands the Importance of After-School Programs

There are many reasons after-school programs are so important for kids: they keep them off the street, they teach them valuable skills, and they give kids a sense of belonging. Based on a recent article on Kansas City’s KCUR, it appears the mayor of that fine city understands how important they are.

In an article titled Mayor Sly James Stresses Importance Of After-School And Summer Programs For Kids, Lisa Rodriguez writes, “Kansas City Mayor Sly James joined city leaders and educators from Missouri and Kansas Saturday at the Kauffman Foundation for the Municipal Summit on Afterschool and Expanded Learning to discuss the importance of after-school and summer programs for students. James says once students are out of school for the summer, there’s not always a lot for them to do — which he says puts them at risk for participating in dangerous activities.

James said across Missouri and Kansas, only 14 percent of school-aged kids participate in after-school events. “What are the other 86 percent doing? I will guarantee you that not all of the 86 percent are engaged in helping ladies across the street or carrying groceries out of stores… some of them are engaged in some pretty risky behaviors,” James says. As he welcomed the room full of city mayors, council people and education advocates, James praised programs like Mayor’s Nights and Turn The Page that he says keep young people safe and provide them with positive role models.

He says research shows getting more young people involved could reduce crime and keep them safer. “When our kids are involved in our summer programming, juvenile crime and juvenile victimization is down 18 percent,” James says. Joining James in leading the summit was Leawood, Kansas Mayor Peggy Dunn, who echoed many of James’ sentiments. “Research shows that if there were more opportunities, the youth would engage, they would be part of those,” Dunn says. She said she hoped that by hearing initiatives from other cities, everyone could come away with several ideas for summer and after-school programming.

The Municipal Summit on Afterschool and Expanded Learning is part of a series of summits hosted by the National League of Cities. They aim to connect leaders across the region so they can develop partnerships and build collaborative after-school systems.”

CodeREV believes strongly in the importance of both after-school activities and summer camps, which is why we’ve revolutionized them. Get in touch with us to learn more about how your kids can get involved.

On Immersive Learning

One of the major benefits of CodeRev Kids is that it immerses your child in coding. EdSurge explores immersive learning in a recent article titled “The Benefits of Immersive Learning: From the Eyes of a Coding Bootcamp Student.”

Rex Salisbury of EdSurge writes, “I went to a selective liberal arts college and studied economics. Over the course of four years, I spent about 1,000 hours to get an economics degree. Four years after graduating, doing work I found unfulfilling, I went to a coding bootcamp where I spent 1,000 hours learning to code in around 14 weeks. At this point, you might be thinking, ‘Wow, 1,000 hours in 4 years versus 1,000 hours in 14 weeks—that’s a big difference.’ You also might be wondering about the utility of each of these programs. Am I more of an expert in economics—or coding? Becoming an expert in something isn’t easy. It takes work—a lot of work, in fact. Writer Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours. But just doing anything for 10,000 hours isn’t enough. It has to be rigorous, self-reinforcing learning that continually challenges you. While most coding bootcamps fall quite short of Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule, these programs will get you 1,000 hours of some of the most rigorous, self-reinforcing learning that you could ever imagine in an incredibly short period of time. How are bootcamp students able to learn so much, so quickly, you may ask? It’s simple—for 14 weeks, you don’t do anything else. You immerse yourself in coding as deeply as possible… Immersion is nothing new. We’ve known for years that it’s an incredibly effective way to learn. Consider, for example, learning a foreign language in that language’s country of origin. Learning coding at a bootcamp is similar to studying abroad when you want to learn a language; it’s immersive, it’s exciting, and there are tons of people surrounding you and supporting your learning every hour of every day.”

If you’re looking for quality, customized coding education, your best bet is CodeRev Kids. At CodeRev Kids, our lessons focus on computational thinking, which encompasses a wide variety of programming languages and concepts.

Our lessons build upon one another and we adjust starting points to each student’s level of expertise. Thus, the entire curriculum is customized. We are known for saying we are the most educational tech camp out there, but we also keep the focus on having fun. As a result, students stay engaged while learning to blend creativity with technology.

Sign up for one of our camps today!

Fisher-Price’s Code-a-Pillar

Getting a jumpstart on your child’s coding education can be highly beneficial in the future. Fisher-Price is taking this a step further with its new Code-a-Pillar. Consider a recent article for Consumer Affairs titled “Fisher-Price wants to teach preschoolers how to code.”

Sarah D. Young of Consumer Affairs writes, “Though they may not yet be potty-trained, you can now teach preschoolers how to code. Fisher-Price’s new caterpillar bot — the ‘Code-a-Pillar’ — teaches kids the basics of coding, such as sequencing and programming. Part of the company’s Think & Learn series, which seeks to inspire critical thinking and problem solving skills in three to eight-year-olds, the Code-a-Pillar is branded as a toy for the 2035 coders. If the idea behind connected pieces which form instructions proves thrilling to your child, then who knows: you could have a potential future coder under your roof… The concept is simple enough. The caterpillar’s body features eight segments that snap together linearly, all labeled with different colors and symbols. Each segment has a different function: turn left, turn right, make a funny noise. Once the segments are connected and the start button is pressed, the smiling caterpillar will take the route that it was programmed to by the child. The caterpillar ‘code’ can be as long as you want, too, thanks to the availability of add-on segments. Fisher-Price claims the toy builds the basic skills needed to understand more complex programming languages later in life. The Code-a-Pillar also connects to a free companion app, which proposes additional programming challenges for kids to solve as they get older.”

Mashable also takes a look at the Code-a-Pillar in a recent article titled “Adorable Code-a-Pillar teaches 3-year-olds the basics of coding.” Samantha Murphy Kelly of Mashable writes, “An adorable new Fisher-Price caterpillar toy aims to teach kids the basics of coding. The company is showing off at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show the Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar, a toy that teaches kids ages 3 to 8 problem solving and sequencing. By directing the caterpillar to move in a certain pattern, it reinforces skills associated with writing code. The toy comes with eight segments which feature a unique command icon on its surface. Each command programs the Code-a-Pillar to move in a certain way (forward, left, right, spin, make a noise and so on). The segments hook together via a USB port and the kids can select the order.”

When it comes to customized coding education, you can’t go wrong with CodeRev Kids. At CodeRev Kids, our lessons focus on computational thinking, which encompasses a wide variety of programming languages and concepts.

Our lessons build upon one another and we adjust starting points to each student’s level of expertise. Thus, the entire curriculum is customized. We are known for saying we are the most educational tech camp out there, but we also keep the focus on having fun. As a result, students stay engaged while learning to blend creativity with technology.

Sign up for one of our winter camps today!

Hardware Toys and the Future of Kids Coding

When we discuss coding for kids, we often look at website, app, and game development. What about hardware? Consider a recent article for edSurge titled “Are Hardware Toys the Future of Kids’ Coding?

Blake Montgomery of edSurge writes, “Plenty of games and apps teach kids to code. But educators and toymakers are betting that teaching computer science isn’t about coding at all. ‘Computers have gotten so user-friendly that modern people, maybe not just kids, expect the computer to come to us,’ Gene Luen Yang, a graphic novelist and computer science teacher, told EdSurge earlier this year. ‘But if you want to get into the nitty gritty of how to create new technology, you need to understand how the computer works natively.’ The proliferation of devices has made technology a ubiquitous presence in children’s lives. But that does not mean they understand how anything works. Enter computer hardware toys, which hopefully build kids’ understanding of how electronics function. The creators of hardware toys believe that playing will endear technology to kids and inspire their academic interest. Kano, a build-it-yourself computer kit, spells out the ideal progression in its company tagline: ‘Make a computer, learn what’s inside, play with code. Spark a lifelong passion for computing and the arts.’ There’s a market for toys like these. In the most recent available data from 2013, Arduino had sold 300,000 units official units, with 700,000 more unofficial imitation units in circulation. Arduino makes a microcontroller that forms the basis of do-it-yourself digital devices. Raspberry Pi, a computer the size of a credit card, has sold three million units to date. The cost of entry is decreasing, too. The latest iteration of the Raspberry Pi, the Pi Zero, is just $5. Some tools are even free: in July, the BBC released the BBC micro:bit, a palm-sized codeable computer, which will be distributed free to every UK student in year seven, usually students age 11 to 13. The hope is to engage students with the new UK coding curriculum.”

When it comes to customized coding education, your best bet is CodeRev Kids. At CodeRev Kids, our lessons focus on computational thinking, which encompasses a wide variety of programming languages and concepts.

Our lessons build upon one another and we adjust starting points to each student’s level of expertise. Thus, the entire curriculum is customized. We are known for saying we are the most educational tech camp out there, but we also keep the focus on having fun. As a result, students stay engaged while learning to blend creativity with technology.

Sign up for one of our winter camps today!

Hello Ruby Opens the Door to Coding for Children

It is no secret that young people in the United States are enthralled with their video games. This doesn’t mean video games necessarily have to be a distraction, however. These games can be used as educational tools. Consider a recent article for Geek Dad titled “Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding – Thinking Like a Programmer.”

Randy Slavey of Geek Dad writes, “Hello Ruby blew past its initial $10,000 goal on Kickstarter nearly two years ago to become one of the most anticipated children’s books to be launched on the crowdfunding platform. While there are dozens of excellent programming books available that are targeted specifically to kids, what makes Hello Ruby different from other coding books is its surprising lack of code. Any code. Hello Ruby contains no “Hello World” examples, no “Build a Working Calculator” project. There is no mention of language or syntax. In fact, unless you’re reading the eBook version, you don’t even need a computer. Instead, Hello Ruby approaches programming, not as a skill to be taught, but as a way of thinking about a problem. Written and illustrated by programmer Linda Liukas, formerly of Codecademy and 2013 Ruby Hero, Hello Ruby tells the story of a precocious little girl named Ruby who goes on an adventure to find five gems her father has hidden for her. Along the way, she meets a number of interesting characters that will probably seem a little familiar to those with programming or general computer backgrounds. Ruby has to learn to communicate with the penguins, who can be difficult to understand at times with their utterances of ‘grep!’, ‘ awk!’, and ‘bash!’, and the Snow Leopard, who lives on the mountain and prefers simplicity and purity. Throughout the book, Ruby is faced with problems that must be solved using basic principles of programming such as conditions and loops.”

While video games can do wonders for young children, at a certain age, they need human mentorship. This doesn’t have to be less fun or engaging. In fact, with CodeRev Kids, we emphasise having fun just as much as we emphasise coding concepts and languages. As a result, our students stay engaged and learn at the same time.

Furthermore, all of our lessons are customized to fit each students’ level of expertise. All of these lessons emphasise computational thinking, which encompasses a wide range of programming concepts and languages. Thus, they are just as thorough as they are fun.

For more, check out our fall classes and afterschool programs!

Attacking the Gender Wage Gap with Coding Classes

file000550759573It’s well known that women statistically earn 78 percent of what their male counterparts earn throughout the workforce. Part of what contributes to this gap is the lack of women in certain industries that offer especially high earning jobs. Many organizations and institutions are making an effort to provide coding education to young women and girls in hopes of eradicating this disparity in the coming generation. One example of this is a coding class at Akron High School, according to Leigh Giangreco of the Buffalo News.

Giangreco writes, “Between 2013 and 2014, female participation in AP computer science tests increased by more than one-third, according to Education Week. But girls still make up only a small number of those test-takers, with 20 percent participation nationwide and just 18.4 percent in New York State. ‘There is nothing to stop a girl from signing up for a coding class,” Meek said. “The barriers are social.’ When Meek took his first high school computer science course in the 1980s, he said the field was just beginning to gain its geeky reputation. But with tech wizards such as Mark Zuckerberg emerging as billionaire moguls, the pendulum may be swinging the other way. In 2013, when Meek advertised an after-school coding program, more than 100 students signed up. At the end of the program, 97 percent of those surveyed agreed they needed the coding experience.”

When it comes to how the class functions, Giangreco writes, “The class uses tutorials from Hour of Code, a free online introduction to computer science, and Snap, a Berkeley-designed drag and drop program. Unlike language-centric programs such as Javascript or Python, which write the applications, Snap uses a simple building block method for coding. Meek admits the program is aimed at a middle school level, but said it provides a step toward more advanced coding. He also feels coding languages such as HTML will fade away to make room for a building block system.”

At CodeRev Kids, we also understand the importance of providing opportunities for young girls and others who are underrepresented in the tech fields to learn and master coding. To that end, we are beginning our coding program this April with the LAtinas, a group of high achieving female Latina high school students from underserved communities.  The group is a branch of Google’s partner, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. We will be building a prototype website together as the LAtinas learn to code, so not only will they be learning how to write code, but also how they can use it to attempt to solve a problem and even create a prototype which we will be partnering with Nation Builder for to attempt to turn the site into a real business that solves a societal problem.

Additionally, CodeREV is partnering with Microsoft to teach coding to 50 high school girls at Microsoft’s DigiGirlz event this May 16th.  We are so excited for this exciting L.A. based Microsoft event!

Finally, we are implementing our “Ladies Night” coding jam sessions this month as well, and will be hosting female students who want to check out coding and see if they like it.  We have a feeling many will.

We provide a host of programs that let students study everything from robotics to web development to app making.

Unlike other coding tutors, we customize our lessons to individual students’ expertise. We focus on Computational Thinking, which encompasses a wide range of programming concepts and languages.

In addition to our afterschool programs, we also offer spring and summer programs. Whatever youth coding education needs you might have, look no further than CodeRev Kids!

What do Micro-Bit Computers and Live Streaming Have in Common?

1383312908u8lsiPeople throughout the world are taking new and innovative approaches when it comes to trying to engage youth in coding education. For example, BBC is giving away micro-bit computers, according to TechCrunch. Steve O’Hear of TechCrunch covers this in a recent article titled “In Bid To Get British Kids Coding, BBC To Give Away 1 Million ‘Micro Bit’ Computers.”

O’Hear writes, “In a move that will bring a nostalgic smile to some British kids (and teachers) of the 80s, the BBC has announced that it is to produce a new educational mini-computer — codenamed the ‘Micro Bit’, a play on the broadcaster’s original ‘BBC Micro‘ computer — and will give away 1 million devices to British school kids aged 11. It will be distributed nationwide from autumn 2015. The new hardware project is part of the BBC’s wider ‘Make it Digital’ initiative to inspire ‘a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology,’ as the UK attempts to fill an anticipated ‘skills gap’ in the country’s growing digital economy. The move, which sees the BBC partner with over 25 organisations to develop the Micro Bit, including chip-makers ARM and Nordic Semiconductor, Microsoft, and Samsung, is also interesting in that it seems determined to address issues that caused controversy when the original BBC Micro was released.”

Meanwhile, watching live streams of people coding is becoming a major trend all over. Venture Beat News’ Chris O’Brien discusses this in a recent article titled “Watching live streams of people coding is now officially a thing.” O’Brien writes, “Across the Internet, sites are popping up that let people watch other people code for hours and hours. Indeed, live streams of coding are gaining enough momentum that there’s even a virtual conference being organized this weekend by some folks via Reddit. Internet video in general is exploding. But this latest, and seemingly unlikely, phenomenon comes on the heels of Twitch’s big success. The San Francisco-based company proved that there was a massive audience of people who were eager to spend hours each day watching and learning from other people’s game play. That led Amazon to acquire Twitch for almost $1 billion last year.”

While trends and contests can certainly be effective in getting the attention of youth, tutoring from experienced coding teachers is the best way to master coding. With CodeRev Kids, that’s exactly what you get. We have a wide variety of spring, summer, and afterschool programs that focus on subjects such as robotics, app development, and video game making.

At CodeRev Kids, we customize our programs for individual students to make sure the lessons are both thorough and engaging. Our students learn Computational Thinking, which encompasses a wide range of programming concepts and languages. For more information, check out some of our different class options.

For whatever youth coding education needs you might have, you can’t go wrong with CodeRev Kids!

Developer Makes “Music to Code By”

colorful-music-notes-in-a-line-colorful-musical-notes-wallpaper-087376origOne of the lasting images from the Facebook movie The Social Network is Mark Zuckerberg donning headphones and going into a deep zone every time he started coding. Many of us know the feeling. Music is a great tool for getting into one’s groove (no pun intended), after all. One developer is taking that a step further with an album specifically for coders. Phil Johnson of IT World examines this in a recent article titled “Music to get you into the coding groove.”

Johnson writes, “Carl Franklin, a professional musician and software developer, recently wrote, produced and released an album titled Music to Code By. He funded the album with a successful Kickstarter campaign that he ran last summer. Music to Code By consists of three tracks, each 25 minutes long so they fit in with the Pomodoro Technique that some developers (and others) use to manage their time. The album is currently available to download for $18, or you can order a CD version (and also have access to the download) for $20… I asked Franklin about the connection between making music and writing software, and whether one helps with the other. He felt the two have more in common than most people probably realize. ‘I can see how certain aspects of music – notation, practicing, expression, etc. – are all means of manipulating abstractions, much like language and very much like software development.’ The album, on which Franklin did all the performing, took him a little over 5 months to complete. What was the biggest challenge of writing music for people to code by, I asked? ‘The biggest challenge was dialing back my instinct to make real music. This had to fade into the background. It couldn’t distract the listener, but it couldn’t be boring either. That was a particular challenge that I think most musicians would have found maddening,’ Franklin told me.”

This looks like a great tool for youth to utilize when they’re practicing coding on their own. However, to get the most out of it, a student will need tutoring from an experienced coding teacher.

When it comes to coding education, no one does it better than CodeRev Kids. We offer a wide variety of after school programs, as well as spring and summer programs, that allow students to study robotics, web development, app making, and more.

Our programs focus on Computational Thinking, which encompasses a wide range of programming concepts and languages. Each lesson builds upon the last and we adjust starting points to each student’s level of expertise. By doing this, the entire curriculum is customized.

Whatever youth coding education needs you might have, you can’t go wrong with CodeRev Kids!

Community Creates “Hacker Hours”

More and more people are coming together to enjoy their love of coding with others. This has taken on the form of a library coding community in the case of a couple of middle school teachers. Gina Sipley and Mercer Hall of EdSurge talk about this in a recent article titled “Turn Your Public Library Into a Kid Coding Community.”

They write, “As lifelong teachers, we assumed the place where we’d feel most comfortable would be in a traditional class setting, so after careful research we signed up for a Back-End Web Development course at General Assembly. While a lot of information was presented during the 10 weeks, what we didn’t anticipate was how important a variety of hybrid learning experiences would be toward helping us truly master the new programming language. After a mixture of classroom lessons, online tutorials, and tutoring sessions, we stumbled upon what many NYC programmers deem the Holy Grail: Hacker Hours. Hacker Hours, a term coined by Aidan Feldman, is a place where programmers of all experience levels gather to help one another with their coding projects. We were so impressed by both the welcoming nature of the participants and the empowering process of intergenerational peer-to-peer instruction that we were eager to bring something similar to our own local community of teenagers. Libraries offer the perfect setting for Hacker Hours since we consider them to be local incubators. We recently piloted a series of free Hacker Hours for teens at the Franklin Square Public Library on Long Island, New York. We organized our meetups over the course of two days in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment and welcomed sixteen students. Pitched to children ages 13-18 in the Franklin Square community, the gathering welcomed anyone who wanted to learn programming basics and build a working web app.”

If you’re looking for instruction from experienced teachers who makes their lessons not just informative, but fun, your best bet is CodeRev Kids. Our mission is to provide children with exciting, confidence-building experiences with technology.  Our curriculum covers everything from the basics of MS Windows to each step in programming, app development, game development, and robotics.  Children have fun and build confidence with our program, as well as learn valuable skills that allow them to explore their creativity and build important cognitive skills in the process.

We partner with schools throughout California to deliver a formal, K-10 technology curriculum. Our curriculum integrates common core standards in the computer lab environment and even offer programs geared to specifically teach math and science while teaching and integrating technology.

Whatever youth coding education needs you might have, you can’t go wrong with CodeRev Kids!