Kindle Books by Marina Umaschi Bers

Marina Umaschi Bers is the author of Beyond Coding (2022), ScratchJr Coding Cards (2020), Coding as a Playground (2020) and The Official Scratch Jr. Book (2015).

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Beyond Coding

release date: Mar 22, 2022
Beyond Coding
Why children should be taught coding not as a technical skill but as a new literacy—a way to express themselves and engage with the world. Today, schools are introducing STEM education and robotics to children in ever-lower grades. In Beyond Coding, Marina Umaschi Bers lays out a pedagogical roadmap for teaching code that encompasses the cultivation of character along with technical knowledge and skills. Presenting code as a universal language, she shows how children discover new ways of thinking, relating, and behaving through creative coding activities. Today’s children will undoubtedly have the technical knowledge to change the world. But cultivating strength of character, socioeconomic maturity, and a moral compass alongside that knowledge, says Bers, is crucial. Bers, a leading proponent of teaching computational thinking and coding as early as preschool and kindergarten, presents examples of children and teachers using the Scratch Jr. and Kibo robotics platforms to make explicit some of the positive values implicit in the process of learning computer science. If we are to do right by our children, our approach to coding must incorporate the elements of a moral education: the use of narrative to explore identity and values, the development of logical thinking to think critically and solve technical and ethical problems, and experiences in the community to enable personal relationships. Through learning the language of programming, says Bers, it is possible for diverse cultural and religious groups to find points of connection, put assumptions and stereotypes behind them, and work together toward a common goal.

ScratchJr Coding Cards

release date: Nov 24, 2020
ScratchJr Coding Cards
The ScratchJr Coding Cards are a deck of 75 activity cards covering fun and exciting projects designed to educate young children with the visual programming language, ScratchJr. ScratchJr is a free, introductory computer programming language that runs on iPads, Android tablets, Amazon tablets, and Chromebooks. Derived from Scratch, the wildly popular programming language used by millions of kids worldwide, ScratchJr helps even younger children (5 to 7 years old) create their own playful animations, interactive stories, and dynamic games. The ScratchJr Coding Cards encourage kids to think creatively and systematically while developing computational thinking skills. Kids will learn powerful ideas about computer science by using ScratchJr programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, sing, and more. As they work through the deck, they will become creative thinkers and problem solvers. Written by the ScratchJr co-creator, Prof. Marina Umaschi Bers, and Dr. Amanda Sullivan, the exercises in ScratchJr Coding Cards will encourage kids to develop coding skills as well as foundational concepts for literacy, math, planning, and problem-solving, all while having fun. The cards are created using the pedagogical approach developed by Prof. Bers to teach coding in a playful way to young children.

Coding as a Playground

release date: Oct 05, 2020
Coding as a Playground
Coding as a Playground, Second Edition focuses on how young children (aged 7 and under) can engage in computational thinking and be taught to become computer programmers, a process that can increase both their cognitive and social-emotional skills. Learn how coding can engage children as producers—and not merely consumers—of technology in a playful way. You will come away from this groundbreaking work with an understanding of how coding promotes developmentally appropriate experiences such as problem-solving, imagination, cognitive challenges, social interactions, motor skills development, emotional exploration, and making different choices. Featuring all-new case studies, vignettes, and projects, as well as an expanded focus on teaching coding as a new literacy, this second edition helps you learn how to integrate coding into different curricular areas to promote literacy, math, science, engineering, and the arts through a project-based approach and a positive attitude to learning.

The Official Scratch Jr. Book

release date: Oct 01, 2015
The Official Scratch Jr. Book
ScratchJr is a free, introductory computer programming language that runs on iPads, Android tablets, Amazon tablets, and Chromebooks. Inspired by Scratch, the wildly popular programming language used by millions of children worldwide, ScratchJr helps even younger kids create their own playful animations, interactive stories, and dynamic games. The Official ScratchJr Book is the perfect companion to this free app and makes coding easy and fun for all. Kids learn to program by connecting blocks of code to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Each chapter includes several activities that build on one another, culminating in a fun final project. These hands-on activities help kids develop computational-thinking, problem-solving, and design skills. In each activity, you’ll find: –Step-by-step, easy-to-follow directions –Ways to connect the activity with literacy and math concepts –Tips for grown-ups and teachers –Creative challenges to take the learning further By the end of the book, kids will be ready for all sorts of new programming adventures! The ScratchJr app now supports English, Spanish, Catalan, Dutch, French, Italian, and Thai.
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