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Hello World Technology & Youth Services

o┬Ěpen-source

adjective: open-source

denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.

20th Anniversary of Open Source

What do you use daily that is open source software? You might not even realize how much of what you do depends on open source software.

  • Are you using the FireFox web browser. Open Source
  • Do you have a SALS website. Guess what your WordPress site is open source.
  • Do you watch video on you computer using the great program VLC
  • Are you going to try Scratch Programming--Open.
  • Ever use Wikipedia?
  • What about if you just use the internet? Most of the languages that you use to access and communicate databases like MYSQL (Open), PHP (Open), Python (Open) brows. I'm sure the page you are viewing right now was written with mysql and php.

The point is that with Valentines day around the corner give some love to Open Source.

Literature Review

In this weeks series of literature review I came across this study on Scratch Programming at Libraries and thought it might be the perfect time to introduce Scratch for those who haven't used it before. With Teen Tech Week just around the corner maybe Scratch is something you want to kick the tires on.

Libraries as Facilitators of Coding for All

Martin C. Libraries as Facilitators of Coding for All. Knowledge Quest [serial online]. January 2017;45(3):46-53. Available from: Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 8, 2018.

This study explores how Libraries are in a position to fill the gap in digital equity and create meaningful opportunities for youth to be exposed to and excel at computer science.

The article explores Scratch workshops that expose youth to coding and computational thinking in libraries--see below for more on Scratch.

The Data here:

  • Nine implementations of Scratch coding workshops at 8 public library branches in urban under-resourced areas.
  • Librarians who facilitated the workshops were all novice coders when they began holding the workshops.
  • Most youth who participated in the workshops would be considered underrepresented in computer science.
Through this study, I sought to understand what supports are needed for non-expert coding librarians to offer coding workshops in under-resourced public libraries.
  • Each library offered a Scratch Workshop once a week over a 4 to 6 week period
  • Workshops usually lasted from one to two hours

Obstacles

  • Many librarians reported that learning to code before the workshop was too large of a learning curve while scrambling to learn new materials.
  • A lack of time to prepare made the idea of learning a new skill set like coding so arduous that it seemed undoable.
The availability of supporting resources must be emphasized. It is not easy for librarians with no subject expertise to feel comfortable facilitating a workshop in front of five to twenty young people

Successful librarians were willing to do the following:

  1. Try something new
  2. Be willing to fail
  3. Make changes on the fly
  4. Be OK with the idea of not begin the expert

Success

Supports most cited by librarians leading to a successful completion of the workshops were easy-to-use preparation material, embracing peer-to-peer learning as part of the facilitation strategy, and enlisting youth facilitators to facilitate the Scratch Workshops

Scratch

Scratch is an online visual coding language designed for people ages eight through sixteen, although the online community supports participants of a much greater age range.

Give it a try. It's fun. First click the Scratch Facilitator Guide

Then Click "Things to Try Page

Then select a project and give it a try. Also make sure you have Flash turned on.

If after exploring Scratch you are now looking for a challenge. Check out my account and try my game of Pong. If you make it share it--I'd love to

Olympics

In celebration of the opening of the games my I present some K-Pop for your afternoon culture.

To be honest you might be surprised that many of your teens are quite aware of Korean Pop tunes. ^^

So sit back pump up some K-pop and take a Scratch tutorial. In fact if you have a teen tech program that involves K-pop and Scratch you can count me in.

Credits:

Created with images by Alex Holyoake - "Red and blue open neon"

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