The opportunities for kids to learnt to code have leapt from almost zero a couple for years ago, to something approaching quite extensive in some parts of Sydney. As the field broadens there’s an interesting split developing between the club based free opportunities and the commercial opportunities. Luckily there’s more than enough space for everyone involved at the moment.
The latest start-up is Sydney Programming School (www.code4fun.com.au). They are based in Mosman, but in common with the other similar organisations, you can’t help but feel that they have aspirations well beyond a single suburb. Sydney Programming School is classes for kids from Years 2 through to Year 8. Younger kids will be working with Scratch, older kids will be building websites and then move on to Python and Java and build mobile apps. That’s not a bad progression. It’s all very new so only the Year 3-4 classes appear to be running right now.
Classes are held in the Mosman Art Gallery. Full details are on the Sydney Programming School / Code4Fun (and isn’t that dual naming a bit confusing?) website.
It’s great to see more opportunities for kids to learn to code appearing. One interesting thing about the Sydney Programming School is that they seem to be allowing for casual drop-ins which is in contrast to most courses which require you to sign up for a series of formal lessons. And in that vein I’ll note that what is probably my favourite museum in the world, the fabulous San Francisco Creativity Museum, is launching a new exhibit this weekend: Robot Coding, aims to introduce kids to writing code in a hands-on way as they interact with robots and write different commands to make them complete a variety of different challenges. As they pointed out in telling us about it: ‘I’m not sure how many places in the world there are that kids can walk in and learn how to code without signing up for classes or anything’. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating – I so wish we had something like the Creativity Museum in Sydney.