Monday, 7 January 2013

Teaching kids how to code - UK's CodeClub

CodeClub looks like a great way to be involved in the UK in teaching kids how to program (which I believe to be very important).

The first lessons seem to use Scratch from MIT.

Interesting, although this looks like an open and community driven activity, I was not able to find:
  • The license that the CodeClub is released under (I would expect Creative Commons)
  • The content that CodeClub distributes to its teachers (it is a bit odd that I need to register before I have access to that content)
  • The license that Scratch is released under (I would expect FOSS with the code available)
  • On the FAQ under the costs question it mentions "At the moment there are no costs charged to schools or children." which implies that this might change
  • There isn't really an about us page (the Support Us page provides some info about the non-profit status)
Now, I don't have a problem with this type of activity having a commercial model behind it, but if the objective is to educate then the materials should be open and freely available to the community (with ideally all content managed using git).
The good news is that they seem to have a lot of momentum, energy, ideas and community. So I hope that the lack of openness and transparency is just a consequence of lack of time to publish the content under open licenses.

I'm going to contact my kid's school to see if I can start one of this Clubs there (using the info from the  Getting Started page)

More info: