Back to the Basics

I am in favor of humanities students supplementing their coursework with some coding. I wouldn’t expect anyone to become extremely proficient, but having a basic understanding of the tools and foundations that make up the digital world could be essential for the coming evolution of the humanities – as there undoubtedly will be, as new technology and old technology is shifted and adapted into our lives.  “Procedural literacy, which starts with exercises like making a snowball, will be essential if humanities students are to understand virtual worlds as rhetorical and ideological spaces, just as film and the novel are likewise understood as forms of representation and rhetoric,” Kirschenbaum says.

After nearly completing the first lesson for basic Javascript, I decided to make my account to save my progress, and that was when a blue screen of death struck. So, all in all, that was a pleasant beginning to my coding experience. I feel like a true jaded programmer now.

On the HTML & CSS tutorial, I first did the “HTML/CSS Basics” as a refresher, then jumped into a project and did the “Clickable Photo Page” lesson. HTML/CSS was easier for me than Javascript, which I did in the “Getting Starting in Programming” lesson. This is likely because while I’ve had casual exposure to HTML/CSS before, I’ve never had exposure to Javascript before this CodecademyAcademy tutorial.

You can see my code academy profile below. <a href=”https://www.codecademy.com/users/johnsonb3/achievements>My Codeacademy Achievements!</a>

Most of my digital literacy hasn’t come in the way of programming through HTML/CSS but through program literacy. I picked up spare bits of HTML here and there, usually whatever I needed to tinker around on forums or, as an eleven-year-old on the internet, Neopets. I think this is perhaps a Millennial equivalent to the tinkering Kirschenbaum grew up with. However, growing up with access to programs and being able to tinker in this way did give me the basics of a skillset that I’ve used for hobbies and school projects.

In elementary school, I think most of my peers received training on how to type quickly/efficiently, how to use word processors, and good practice on the internet. I don’t see why coding can’t be included in this bundle.

One Reply to “Back to the Basics”

  1. Your post made me think a lot about access/accessibility today–who gets to code and who gets to be taught/valued in these classrooms? Thank you for the personal reflections.

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