coding literacy

Calling all codebreakers:

If you make a post about a solved code - be it ARG relevant or not, please include the original code, the type of code it was, and any keys etc. to solve it.

A vital part of code solving is developing a literacy of codes - being able to look at it and go ‘that looks like a Caesar, that looks like an ASCII’ etc. 

We will not develop that ability as a community without your help to make these sorts of connections - and skills as a whole are much better than having to rely on a few bloggers to be solving a problem.

@whimsicalethnographies, @teapotsubtext,  @euphoriccalliope, @jenna221b

Masculine ideals of self-reliance, stoicism, sexual promiscuity and dominance over women do not lend themselves to emotional vulnerability. But it’s important to realise that this is not a mindset that suddenly appears. Rather, it’s instilled into men from a young age. I have personally lost count of the times I have heard parents of young boys admonish their own or other people’s sons for being ‘too sensitive’ or ‘soft.’ So acknowledging and addressing how we raise boys is vital here.
The masculinity narrative’s assumption that all boys are the same and that their masculinity is static constrains all boys—those who adopt the hegemonic masculinity, those who actively and knowingly struggle against it, and everyone in between.

This constricted notion of gendered behavior is particularly problematic for boys because, unlike girls, they have not seen an expansion in the acceptable forms of behavior associated with being a boy. In fact, because it is virtually impossible for any one boy to always live consistently with any narrative of hegemonic masculinity, most boys will struggle with living up to the ideal and may be teased, bullied, or worse for not doing so. Moreover, schools that adopt or are aligned with a masculinity that is stoic and aggressive can harm boys who take that message with them into adulthood.

David Cohen, “No Boy Left Behind? Single-Sex Education and the Essentialist Myth of Masculinity,” Indiana Law Journal

Why Minecraft is the Future of Code Literacy

Klint Finley

External image

New from me at Wired:

Minecraft is incredibly open-ended. It’s entirely up you whether you as a player whether spend your time building elaborate castles, fighting monsters, or exploring the the game world. What’s more, using mods, you can quickly create things that would otherwise take a long time to build in the game, such as mountains or massive dungeons, or create custom types of blocks. You can also create special rules that enable you to do things like build your own games within Minecraft, such as capture the flag or Tetris.

Once the kids have crafted their code in LearnToMod, the application connects to their Minecraft account to make the mods available to the kids in the game. By teaching kids to build their own Minecraft mods, the ThoughSTEM team is hoping to keep students motivated to learn some of the trickier parts of coding.

TeacherGaming founder Joel Levin is fond of the idea. “Kids are passionate about the game and they quickly understand that they can extend and enhance their Minecraft experience by learning some basic programming,” he says. “And that’s really what we want, isn’t it? To have kids realize that with code, they can improve their life in a way that’s relevant to them.”

In fact, Levin says TeacherGaming is working on its own mod building education program called ComputerCraftEdu, which will eventually be offered both online and in-person. And there are already a few other classes that teach students to create mods, such as MakersFactory’s class in Santa Cruz and YouthDigital’s online class.

Full Story: Wired: New Minecraft Mod Teaches You Code as You Play

On for adults looking to learn to program, there’s Switch, which is looking to become like “OK Cupid” for code bootcamps.

Model Karlie Kloss Thinks More Women Should Code. Here's What She's Doing About It

There’s a new model for women in tech. A supermodel, in fact. And this time next year, a few more women might be working in tech, thanks to her.

Karlie Kloss is one of the highest-paid models in the world, according to Forbes’ 2015 ranking, but she keeps rolling out new entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors. She’s launched a well-trafficked YouTube channel, collaborated with Milk Bar on Klossies — wheat-free, dairy-free cookies that raise money for charities — and sponsored coding camps for high school girls. “For me, success is having the opportunity to pursue my passions, especially those that can impact other people,” Kloss says.

With her latest passion project, Kloss wants to “simultaneously close the job gap and gender gap in tech,” and empower women to become professional developers.

Today she opens applications for the Kode With Klossy Career Scholarship. Every month, one new winner will get free access to a nine-month code class — valued at $12,000 — that prepares her for a career in tech. Through the Flatiron School’s online campus, participants will learn multiple coding languages, create a GitHub portfolio and work together to make web apps. Graduates can apply for apprenticeships at partnering companies, which include Instagram, WeWork, Conde Nast, New York Magazine and Vice.

Kloss sees the social significance of getting women in tech: “I think women are currently an underutilized and poorly-supported group of potential employees in an industry that has a widening gap of unfilled jobs. So I think the opportunity is just tremendous.”

Indeed, the lack of gender diversity in tech is well documented. There are many programs — Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code — trying to get girls excited about code, as well as professional programs to help adult women kickstart careers in tech, such as Girl Develop It and Hackbright Academy. But none have had a supermodel mascot on board to bust stereotypes.

Kloss is a natural champion for code literacy among women, because she’s a student herself. In 2014, she took her first coding class at the Flatiron School. Her curiosity about technology brought her in for a 2-week intro class, and has kept her coming back for 2 years now. Though she’s the first to admit she’s still learning, she makes time in her busy schedule for coding lessons with the Flatiron School’s cofounder, Avi Flombaum.

“What’s unique about working with Karlie is that this is purely her own intellectual curiosity,” Flombaum says. “She’s passionate about learning — not just code, but a lot of things. And she’s become passionate about sharing that learning experience. I have no doubt that curiosity is one of the things that helps her stand out in her industry and drives her to do things that most people don’t, entrepreneurship included.” (x)

While reading skills are taught and trained, there is occasionally a misconception that understanding of texts, whether oral, written, visual or multimodal, comes naturally and does not need further attention. […] Literature uses language to communicate, and language consists of conventional semiotic signs, based on an agreement between the bearers of a particular language and culture. For anyone outside the given community, conventional signs do not carry any meaning, or at best the meaning is ambivalent. As a consequence, before we can understand a work of literature, we need to be trained in a number of conventions. On the most basic level, we must know how to read, how to make sense of letters, words and sentences - what is normally referred to as literacy. Fiction is, however, more complex than, for instance, everyday language, since it also involves figurative speech and other features and artistic devices which need special knowledge to be understood. […] the language of fiction - in a broad sense, including many layers of artistic conventions - demands a knowledge of and training in certain codes.
—  “Literacy, competence and meaning-making: a human sciences approach” (June 2010, Cambridge Journal of Education), Maria Nikolajeva.