Saturday, May 31, 2014

NY Times: How to Get Girls Into Coding MAY 31, 2014

"Nitasha Tiku gets it right: games are the gateway to motivating girls (and boys too!) to get into the world of coding, game design, start-up culture, DIY, steAm (adding the Arts to STEM) and the maker movement in general.

I have been fortunate to have been beta-testing a  "new platform called Beta" ( mentioned in this article) with very interesting results: my 9th grade students at Dwight School have responded with a rare enthusiasm. The students worked over the weekends and over vacations purely through the self-motivation and a 'need-to-know' driven by the joy of learning.

Errol King, the co-founder and creative director of Hidden Level Games (which created Beta the game) and I were talking about what makes this platform (and game design in general) so potent as a motivator for kids: "god-mode" is the answer.

Girls like to build worlds and games that allow them to build things (Minecraft, the Sims) appeal to girls and tap into their natural abilities in ways that the straight-forward computer science curriculum can't touch."