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Thursday, October 5 • 3:15pm - 3:45pm
Libraries Ready to Code: Connecting youth to computer science, computational thinking, and community

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Increasingly, literacies critical for all children include computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT). The classroom is the focus of recent large-scale efforts, but learning happens across different spaces in the lives of young people and limitations of classroom learning demand support and alignment from additional community resources. In this spotlight presentation, we are excited to share Libraries Ready to Code (RtC), a joint initiative from the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy and Google, Inc. The session is organized into three parts:

(1) What does it mean for learning environments to be ready to code? First we will share RtC priority areas and recommendations to help broaden and diversify access to CS learning opportunities, including focus on connected learning, community engagement, and facilitation. This orientation will be illustrated by examples of how US libraries support CS and CT skills acquisition by youth as outlined in the 2016 RtC research report. Research efforts used broad surveys of what is offered across spaces and deep dives with individual libraries to surface innovations and challenges to doing and scaling this work. 

(2) How can existing people and places become ready to code? Next, we will share insights from design work with MLIS faculty to re-envision how to equip pre- and inservice school and public librarians to deliver programs that foster CT skills among the nation’s youth. We will look at how big ideas in the RtC report translate into building capacity through practical preparation. The collaboration explores the role of the educator in environments where there is a shortage of CS expertise, especially for communities that are traditionally underrepresented in CS fields. 

(3) How should we coordinate to move the RtC work forward? Critical action areas of RtC demand connections between and across settings to foster two-way knowledge flow. To enrich our understanding of stakeholders in this work and to broaden the RtC community, we will lastly engage the DML research, design, and practice community in discussion, including how RtC can support, inform, and align with their work, inviting them into the conversation and envisioning next phases of the initiative.

Thursday October 5, 2017 3:15pm - 3:45pm PDT
Pacific Ballroom B