Tag Archives: coding

Get Coding Ideas: Scratch Conference 2023 (Virtual)

If you’re looking for more coding and STEM activity ideas, Scratch, the popular (free!) drag and drop block programming language and website, is hosting their Scratch Conference 2023 virtually on July 20, 2023. It’s only $15 to register, with a free option if you have absolutely zero budget for extras. The theme this year is “Sparking Creative Connections”. Here are some of the sessions I bookmarked for myself:

  • Including Diverse Learners w/ ScratchJr Tactile: Learn new ways to reach visually impaired students who want to engage with programming.
  • Collaborative Scratch Hackathons: Find out how to set up a hackaton to bring together coders of all ages in your community. Help people work together to solve cool problems.
  • Bring a Book to Life: Learn how to use code to bring books to life. Tell story through code in the library!
  • Exploring Creative Possibilities w/ Generative AI in Scratch: Explore how generative AI tools like ChatGPT can work with Scratch to expand opportunities for students to learn more effectively.

This is a great conference for school and public libraries, and educators of all types! Scratch is great for all ages.

Learn more & register for the Scratch Conference 2023
Thursday, July 20, 2023
9am- 4pm EST
All Virtual!!

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Understanding MARC class to begin in June

This class is approved for the NLC Cataloging Certification ProgramCourses are open only to Nebraska residents or those who are employed by a Nebraska library.

Why would you use a 651 MARC tag instead of a 610 tag? What is the difference between a 260 tag and a 264 tag? Where do you put the note about large print?

If you have questions about MARC catalog records or would like to learn more about entering records into your local system, join us for this seven-session asynchronous online workshop. By the end you should have a general understanding of how MARC functions and be able to create a basic record for a physical book.

Topics will include:

  • Fixed & variable fields, subfields, tags
  • Title and statement of responsibility
  • Edition
  • Publication
  • Physical description
  • Notes
  • Subject headings
  • Series
  • Main and added entries

This class will be held online from June 7th to July 23rd.

Class participants will access the course website in order to read materials, discuss questions/issues in discussion boards, and post assignments. The instructor will interact with participants through discussion boards and optional web chats in order to offer feedback and provide explanations of material.

To receive full credit, participants must complete all assignments AND receive a total score of 75% or above for the class.

Prerequisite: Basic skills “Organization of Materials” or some library automation experience.

To register: Go to Understanding MARC 21 Bibliographic Records in the Nebraska Library Commission Training Portal. Registration closes May 30th, 2021.

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Pretty Sweet Tech: Libraries Ready to Code

Coding is no secret. In fact, there’s an almost paralyzing amount of information available to people. So much that it can be difficult to decide where to start and where to go next. Knowledge of computers and technology is rapidly becoming vital to life, but many people don’t have a computer science or technology background. And that’s okay.

In 2017, the American Library Association (ALA) and Google saw this and partnered together to make Libraries Ready to Code. Librarians and educators from 30 different libraries worked on their own project to decide what “coding” means to them and how to best introduce it to their own communities. The result is s set of tools that has been made freely available to us all.

This resource is geared towards all experience levels, so you can filter resources by experience level: “I’m Getting Started”, “I’ve Had Some Practice”, and “I’m Experienced”. Some of these resources are further divided into subject categories like art and fashion, while others are parceled out by recommended age range. Either way, this resource is a great place to connect K-12 students with computational thinking and “coding” skills.

But keep in mind that this is just a drop in the bucket of what is available. Not everyone learns the same way either. Feel free to look to these learning tools as inspiration to build your own. Think of Libraries Ready to Code as a starting point on the long road towards future-ready technology.

Keep an eye out for students who devour every resource on this list, then ask for more. Ask them what they want to learn, then do a little digging to find out which resources you need to make it happen. You might not know every line of code that makes a product work, but you can connect interested students with the information they need to learn.

At one time, information took the form of books and journal articles. Now that information may appear in a Raspberry Pi or  YouTube video. It’s time to curate our ever-changing resources. But do yourself a favor and don’t try to learn every bit of technology on the planet. You would be in for a world of hurt.

Start asking students to teach as they learn. There is no telling what people are capable of when given the tools to learn. Take a look at this Virtual Reality headset and software built by a group of high school students in France. Their passion was to make technology accessible to all income levels. They learned more thoroughly with the intent to teach. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, machine learning and more are all at our fingertips.

Technology is not slowing down, and neither are libraries. We can work together to curate resources and pave the way towards a better future.

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