Announcing Help Kids Code Online Magazine: A Calm (and Practical) Antidote for Tech Hype

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Help Kids Code online magazine helps kids, parents, teachers, and adults explore and learn about computer science and coding with as little fuss as possible.

Everyone needs to learn enough about technology, and computer science, to master technology and not be its slave. We all benefit from learning problem solving skills, critical thinking, and the global impacts of technology.

Have you heard: By 2020 we’ll have more programming jobs than programmers! Everyone must learn to code!

Be skeptical. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) debunked the “STEM crisis” argument with a thorough look at the history of this argument. Garment rending over too few coders happens every few decades with little or no negative effects.

Help Kids Code is a practical no hype way for parents, kids, and teachers to explore computer science and programming. The online magazine includes an exhaustive list of programming languages geared for kids, not only Scratch but also less visible options Kodu and Codea. The magazine includes general interest articles about computer science and DIY projects. Plus there’s a growing list of summer tech camps from around the world.

"While the magazine is for 10-12 year olds who want to learn at their own pace," the publisher Tim Slavin says, "Many readers are teachers and parents who ask me for ideas to get their kids interested. They also want to learn about programming and computer science."

Instead of featuring high profile celebrities like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, Help Kids Code highlights people you might meet in the office or playground, people who do neat stuff with technology. The goal is to demystify technology and make it accessible.

For example, the magazine interviewed Beth Rosenberg who started Tech Kids Unlimited to teach technology skills to kids who learn differently. They can build careers using Photoshop, WordPress, and other tools. As Rosenberg notes in her interview, many of these kids age out of the educational system and wind up packing bags at the local supermarket. Technology skills gives these kids a viable career path.

“Help Kids Code is a wonderful way to get the word out to parents and kids,” Beth Rosenberg says. “The magazine tells stories that you don’t often see in traditional media. Plus it has lots of resources to help parents and kids find tools and programs.”

Magazine content follows the computer science curriculum created by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). For example, articles cover problem solving, math foundations of computer science, computational thinking, how to evaluate technology, and the community impact of technology, as well as programming.

“Speaking from personal experience,” Tim Slavin says, “programming is not for everyone. You must love to solve often hard problems with the patience of a saint. And likely you’re on call to fix your software 24/7/365.” However, everyone needs to learn enough about technology, and computer science, to master technology and not be its slave. Everyone benefits from learning problem solving skills, critical thinking, and the global impacts of technology.

Magazine articles include many links to let readers explore a topic at their own pace. There's also a news wire with 28,000 plus technology stories to browse.

The magazine site has no ads and no distracting links within articles. Subscribers pay $12 a year to support a truly reader friendly online environment. Resource pages and many articles are free. Articles are printer-friendly.

The publisher, Tim Slavin, is a long time web producer and technical writer. "I started Help Kids Code to organize in one place hard to find information, as well as write about computer science and programming. I also love interacting with readers and subscribers. This is my third site collecting content and writing articles, going back to 1998." The online magazine launched August 2013 and publishes 10 issues a year. The June/July and December/January double issues feature hands on projects with a wide range of technologies.

Help Kids Code has 5,000 plus followers on Facebook and 3,700 plus followers on Twitter.

While Help Kids Code uses CSTA curriculum guidelines to develop content, there is no connection between the magazine and the CSTA.

For more information, please contact Tim Slavin at media(at)helpkidscode(dot)com.

Learn More:

Help Kids Code Magazine

Tech Kids Unlimited

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards

The STEM Crisis is a Myth

Debunking Myths About Highly-Skilled Immigration and the Global Race for Talent

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Tim Slavin
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