Library hosts coding class for young people – Sun Sentinel

Seven kids ages 8-11 learned the basics of web design and the basics of computer programming during a recent session at the Glades Road Branch Library in Boca Raton.

Staff members Cicely Douglas and Jessica Waters provided one-on-one instruction for the children as they learned HTML and how to use it to create a website.

“This is our library’s first coding course,” Douglas said. “I took a Java class in college and learned HTML and CSS in college. I wanted to do a class like this because the kids who visit our library love using computers but really don’t understand how much work goes into the sites they visit online.”

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language.

“It’s really a way of telling your computer what you want it to do,” Douglas said.

The class began with a discussion of internet safety and why sharing your full name and photos can give people away where you are.

To demonstrate how, she asked everyone to visit their favorite website. They then pressed the right mouse button to view the page source information.

“It’s all in the code,” said one of the children. “And it continues,” said another, scrolling down the page.

Douglas has created a quick reference card that kids can use and take home. She projected her computer screen onto the wall and showed them what to do one step at a time.

“The syntax, the order in which you write it, is very important,” she said. “A small mistake can affect your entire page, so it’s important to be patient, spell things correctly, and follow instructions exactly as they’re given.”

Douglas plans to hold more coding classes.

“My son is always excited to come to the library for his special classes,” said Monica Vinces, a mom from Boca Raton who attended the session. “The staff are great and very helpful. He loves the computer and games, so I thought a coding course like this would be so good for him. He learned so much.”

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