Learn to Code for Teachers Part 3, or How I Spent My Summer Vacation

How I Spent My Summer Vacation or Learn to Code for Teachers, Part 3

So this is the third and final installment in my Learn to Code: For Teachers series.  See that stack of books in the picture above?  That’s my stack of books, and I read them all this summer.  I know, it’s not quite your average stack of of summer beach reads. It certainly isn’t what my summer reading stack  has looked like any other summer.  Usually I have a couple novels, a parenting book or two and whatever book our faculty is reading together as a group.  (This year we’re reading Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World
by Rosalind Wisemen as a faculty and I can’t recommend it highly enough, especially if you’re parenting a boy.)

This year, I devoted my summer to learning to program computers. I learned four distinct languages: HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Ruby. (I know four seems like a lot,  but it turns out a web developer really needs at least those first three languages to make a site that’s at all usable. Ruby was a bonus language. )  I built three websites from scratch and am finishing up an app that will tell you what to wear based on the weather for your particular geographic area.  I feel a huge sense of accomplishment.  And yet, as I write this, I’m sitting at a Ruby Programmers conference (my first tech conference!) and I’m in entirely over my head.  It’s one of those, “the more you learn, the more you know you need to learn” scenarios. I’ve realized that I need (and want) to learn a lot more about how to build websites and web based apps.

I’m fortunate to live close to one of the top computer science universities in the country.  The university offers certification programs in specific programming languages. I’ve been accepted to one of these certificate programs and will begin studying JavaScript this fall. I should be certified by the end of the school year.

I’m incredibly excited, but as I mentioned in my last post, I realize that most early childhood educators couldn’t care less about writing code, and I’m totally good with that.  So while I will continue to post all sorts of information about teaching with technology in early childhood classrooms on this site, I’m moving my posts about learning to code to my new website,  karenjnelson.com. My new site is where I’m keeping all of the things I’m building with code.   It’s also where I’m going to write my thoughts about coding. Even if you’re not all that interested in coding, I’d love for you to pop over and take a peek. (My grand plan is to build an app that early childhood teachers can use in their classrooms. Maybe by the time you read this, I’ll have built that app and posted it on karenjnelson.com.)

Thanks for keeping up with Technology In Early Childhood.  I’ll hope  some of you will visit karenjnelson.com every now and then too! (Here’s where you can read my very first blog post on the new site.  My posts will always be under the “blog” tab on the main menu page.)





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      Thank you Necessary Grace! You’ve definitely played a major role in helping me along in this journey. Your encouragement (and your willingness to respond to recent panicky mid-day texts!) has been so helpful.