Writing Code Together – the New Family Game Night
You’re such a good parent. You gamely took up texting when it came along because you knew if you wanted to communicate with your kids, you had to learn how they talked to each other. Then you joined Facebook, because you knew you needed to meet your kids on their turf. They moved on –and you moved on: Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat. And now you’re going to learn to…WRITE CODE?
In fact, if the non-profit MV Gate and SignUp.com have anything to say about it, writing code together will be the new family game night. MV Gate began as a non-profit in California, working to bring coding and Computer Science education to K-5 students through “community-powered learning.” This type of learning leverages the power of parents to jumpstart their children’s interest in computer science. MV Gate designed an event called Family Code Night in schools, bringing families together for an evening of fun and learning, and yes, writing code, and SignUp.com is helping spread the word nationwide.
MV Gate co-founder John Pearce believes that a key strategy in steering kids toward computer science is getting their families and friends involved, and a school Family Code Night is a perfect way to start. “It turns out that when kids start to learn to code alongside their parents, with a hundred or more families and classmates in the room, it creates and appreciation and demand for coding education,” says Pearce. “Kids can take online learning alone, but there is a missing link: the social context of being with peers and parents, and the instructional support to answer questions -- both indispensable. This is especially true for little kids.”
The movement is gathering momentum at unprecedented speed. Family Code Night has been featured on the front page of the New York Times and also been featured on the White House website. And now with SignUp.com, it’s being offered to all elementary schools in the county as part of the President’s Computer Science for All initiative, a far-reaching effort geared toward giving every student in America the opportunity to learn computer science. SignUp.com has proudly joined with MV Gate and the Computer Science for All movement in helping bringing Family Code Night to any elementary school in America!
Parents who are frustrated with their children’s immersion in all things screen-related are excited about the idea of giving their kids something to do with computers that is productive and useful. According to Pearce, “We have any number of parents who say, ‘I can’t take my kid playing one more hour of video games.’ But if the children are exploring coding, parents say, "I can live with that all night long.”
The kids agree. Participant evaluations of Family Code Night reveal unanimous requests for more coding activities and computer science education. Want to spark your child’s interest in computer science? Download our FREE Family Code Night Kit, with everything you need to bring this inspiring event to your elementary school or youth group – no coding experience necessary!
© 2016. Information Presented courtesy of MV GATE, Mill Valley, California