Living in Codeworld
We live in a hyper-connected world. The internet allows us to send videos to our friends and relatives in seconds, play online games with people from other countries, and even go to class without actually going to school. How does all that happen? Who’s writing the code to make it work? And how is it all shaping our world? Click in and find out.
what you’ll need
Ask About Today
Tell me about the “internet of things.” What is that?
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The Internet, Explained
More and more, we live in a digital world, with computers and code all around us. The internet connects all of them. But what IS the internet, and how does it work? In this 20-minute video from Vox, you’ll learn all about it, including the deep-sea cables that connect the internet between different countries (and that occasionally get bitten by sharks — seriously).
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Code in the... Refrigerator?
Advances in technology have made it possible for code to go way, way beyond our computers. Now, there’s code in our coffee makers, parking meters, bus stops, and even our sneakers, along with new ways for all these things to talk to each other with data. Learn more about the “internet of things” in this short explainer video.
Driving with Code
What if your car could communicate with all the other cars on the road, or park itself after dropping you off at home? Many cars are already able to do some amount of self-driving, and it’s only a matter of time before driverless cars become common. The secret? A whole lot of code.
The Time Code Almost Crashed the World
It was called the Y2K bug. As the world prepared for the year 2000, software engineers realized they had a huge problem: Computers that controlled banking, air travel, nuclear power generators, and more all were programmed to record dates with the year expressed in two digits (like “98” for 1998), not four. What would happen when the year reset to “00”?
Wait, Who's Making All this Code?
Programmers, that’s who. Sometimes they’re called developers, or coders, or software engineers. Who are they? What do they do all day? Find out in this video from PBS and Physics Girl.
Becoming a Programmer
Coding can seem mysterious, but learning to do it is a lot like learning to play basketball or piano. You start by doing simple things and get better with practice. Hear how some of the most well-known programmers got their start in this video from Code.org.
Clean Up the Ocean with Code
Coding can make a difference in the world, but getting it right isn’t always as easy as it seems. In this activity from Code.org, you’ll learn a little bit about artificial intelligence (A.I.) and then get a chance to try programming A.I. to make the right decisions about what belongs in the ocean and what doesn’t.
Program Part of Your Day
Imagine you’re a robot. (Sweet, that’s pretty cool.) The problem is, you need code to run.
Pick one important part of your day, like waking up and getting ready in the morning or making yourself a snack. Then, get a piece of paper and write down the steps you need to follow to do that thing.
Remember, you have to be specific! A robot doesn’t know what “get dressed” means. Think about steps like “sit up in bed,” “put feet on floor,” and so on.
When you’re done, follow your own code and add any steps you might have missed, then give your paper to someone in your family and see what happens if they follow the instructions exactly as you wrote them. (Hopefully you remembered to tell them to “turn left” before walking, so they don’t run into the wall.)