Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
This is a massive open online course of a different sort. Rather than relying on social media and interaction (though there is a Twitter and Facebook component), it provides an interface where people advance step by step through a series of activities designed to teach them to write software (also known as "learning to code"). I took the first few activities, and they look pretty good; the introduction is natively object-oriented, interactive, and will be a useful foundation for Java and Javascript, Python and Ruby. You can find the material at Code Year - the idea is you spend a year and come out of it knowing how to code. Even if you don't write software (though you will once you know how, because it's so useful) you will gain habits of mind and thought that will be invaluable in other disciplines.

It's interesting that recommends instead that you "take an introductory course at your local community college or university extension program, preferably with a friend" because "there is much more to coding than what you'll learn through Code Academy's Code Year process." The same could be said of any introductory program. The question is, would it be better to take this stuff online or in a classroom. I've done both. My thinking is that CodeYear would work a lot better. And there's no searching around for parking at the College on a cold darl January evening.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 16, 2022 4:00 p.m.