Week 15: Coding as Literacy

Instructor Notes

Instructor Notes

For  Module 05: Conclusions our discussion groups are defining where we focus and what we do through the lens of New Literacies. Coding has been widely debated as a one such new-literacy, and group-two is taking us there.

Reading, writing, arithmetic, and code.  As you will discover in some our materials for this week, there is a growing segment of our population who believe coding is not only a fundamental literacy, but potentially displaces other things.  Some, like Dr. Sugata Mitra, even suggest mathematics is an outdated literacy where we should no longer focus.  Computers can do this for us, and coding controls computers.  Some, like Dr. Mitch Resnick, equate coding to 21st century writing – a basic skill that all modern citizens should know – simply to function.  Resnick also suggests that learning to code teaches how-to-think and/or how-to-problem-solve, much like mathematics.  As a new-literacy some suggest coding is a means of storytelling, e.g. game design and web design as a means of expression.  Some of our dialog topics, for example, required coding to assemble, e.g.  Resistance Radio, There Once Lived, Greetings from Mars, etc.   These are told with audio, video, text, graphics, and lots of code. Coding is a common requirement in modern day Journalism and is baked in to modern day Journalism degrees – a storytelling profession.

So I wonder what you think.  Is coding a new literacy?  Should coding be required as a fundamental literacy in schools?


Class Podcast


Class Soundtrack

This is a collaborative playlist in Spotify. If you have a Spotify account (free), I will invite you to contribute, but it’s not required. This is tied to a few class activities and will evolve based on your ideas and input.


Open in Spotify



We’ve used Twitter extensively in past versions of this course, but it is no longer required.

We’ll keep using #inte5340 if you want to post and share things here – it’s useful for connecting with #inte5340 and #ds106 communities as well as the Social Fiction Challenge.

If you post to Twitter, be sure to use #inte5340 so we can find it.



Weekly Watch

Let’s Teach Kids to Code | What Most Schools Don’t Teach |  Coding by a Kid, for a Kid
(highlight video title above to discuss | click on playlist icon to pick videos )

Week Two Tasks

(1) Watch and annotate the videos in the Weekly Watchlist (above).

(2) Complete the Weekly-Thing. Each week we will ask you to do a small thing related to this week’s topic. The Weekly-Thing is posted to the #mixtape channel on Slack each Tuesday. Find it. Do it. Post it to the #mixtape channel.

(3) Read & annotate the following article(s) within your assigned hypothes.is group:

Tyre, P. (2013). Is Coding the New Second Language? Smithsonian.com, https://bit.ly/2HEitgl

Lafee, S. (2017). CODING: The New 21st-Century Literacy?. Education Digest83(2), 25.

(4) Summarize & Reflect on your growth & discovery in this module.

On your blog, summarize your learning, productivity and participation for the past 3 weeks. This will be the basis of your module grade. Demonstrate evidence of your effort and creativity – tell me, show me, and sell me.

Embed ALL of your creations in the blog post. This should be a gallery of your work for this module.

Explain your hero’s journey of the past 3 weeks using a mix of media. Any combination of text, graphics, audio, video, etc.

Answer all of the following questions:

  1. What was your favorite topic, article or video? Why?
  2. What was the best hypothes.is discussion? Why? Provide quotes.
  3. What was your favorite creation from a classmate? Who impressed you? Why?
  4. What did you make and what tools did you use? (challenges, dialogs, weekly-thing)
  5. How did you challenge yourself? What was your biggest stretch?

Post a link to your blog post in the #module-05 Slack channel when done.




Related Articles