Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Future of Learning is in Our Hands, Literally


Recently, I found out how much I love the field of Educational Technology. Everyday, technology is changing, and the future of learning is changing right along with it.

Many of the articles I've been reading and the videos I've been watching deal with teaching people, especially children, how to code.  Many people also say coding should be included in school curricula, and for some schools, this already exists.

But what about students who aren't in those districts? What about college students who aren't computer science majors and adults who run their own businesses? Shouldn't they be able to learn to code too?

Well, they can. Cue Code.org. This website is absolutely amazing for teaching yourself numerous coding languages, including HTML/CSS, PHP, jQuery, Python, Ruby, and more. It is also home to a variety of extra resources for students and teachers alike. Check out their video:


Now, head on over to Code.org and click on Codecademy. Sign up for a free profile and start learning HTML within minutes. With easy to follow instructions and courses broken up by tracks, you can easily keep track of your progress and review things as you go along. You can even use the code you write in the exercises on your own website, or create a website from scratch using Notepad ++ and Filezilla, like I did.

After only 3 days of using Codecademy and by doing a little bit of diligent research on my own, I created http://www.ericastarr.info, a three page website, from a blank file.

Here's a piece of what some of the code for my homepage looks like (click to enlarge):











Codecademy also teaches you how to style a webpage, which for HTML, is done using CSS, or cascading style sheets.

It looks like this (click to enlarge):

















Once you get the hang of it, it's really easy to do!


Here's what all that looks like in website form:











It's not anything crazy, but three days ago I couldn't do that! If you go to my actual website, you will see that the boxes are links to my social media profiles, this blog, and my resume.

While you're at it, check out this other great TED video and article (with videos) about the future of education and what children are able to do because they learned how to code. It's pretty amazing!



  • Kids Code the Darndest Things: 10 Amazing Youth Innovators on Mashable

If you have any more resources to share, be sure to comment on them below!

Good luck, and happy coding!

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