Chatted this afternoon with Ryan Seashore about CodeNow. It’s a project that launched in Feb this year and targets under represented youth to teach them how to code.
On how students are selected
- “under represented” = girls and youth living below the poverty line
- recruitment via teacher relationships (great idea to get motivated kids)
On the weekend training
- Kids arrive knowing whether they like math/science but usually not whether they like computer programming, which is an opportunity.
- Started with Scratch, but found the ceiling was too low. How do you take Scratch learnings and apply them to the real world?
- Started using HackityHack to learn Ruby.
- This is all project-based learning.
On the bootcamp
- 4-day intensive on Ruby
- How to program and how to move forward
- Given netbooks when they complete. (Knowledge + tools = awesomeness)
- Alumni network to help with jobs, etc.
Right now CodeNow’s 2011 goal is 3 weekend training and a bootcamp, with hopefully 30-40 graduates by the end of the year. In 2012 they hope to grow to 4 cities.
Though it sounds to me like CodeNow is targeting further along the knowledge spectrum than us (ie: more technical), this sounds like a great program, with possibly a lot of overlap in the later achievement badges space, and even handoffs from basic web literacy to taking it to the next level.