Posted by: bluesyemre | July 28, 2015

Turn Your Public Library Into a Kid Coding Community by Gina Sipley, Mercer Hall


Two years ago, inspired by the viral Hour of Code video, we decided to learn Ruby on Rails. As two suburban middle school teachers with a liberal arts background, we weren’t quite sure where or how to begin, so we headed to New York City to explore our options. As lifelong teachers, we assumed the place where we’d feel most comfortable would be in a traditional class setting, so after careful research we signed up for a Back-End Web Development course at General Assembly. While a lot of information was presented during the 10 weeks, what we didn’t anticipate was how important a variety of hybrid learning experiences would be toward helping us truly master the new programming language. After a mixture of classroom lessons, online tutorials, and tutoring sessions, we stumbled upon what many NYC programmers deem the Holy Grail: Hacker Hours.

Hacker Hours, a term coined by Aidan Feldman, is a place where programmers of all experience levels gather to help one another with their coding projects. We were so impressed by both the welcoming nature of the participants and the empowering process of intergenerational peer-to-peer instruction that we were eager to bring something similar to our own local community of teenagers.

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