A public lecture on June 4 by Dr Marion Walton, University of Cape Town, on programming and game design with young people in Khayelitsha township, with upbeat examples of coding and game-making and a critical perspective on the coding boom. The event was part of the programme of MODE, the ESRC NCRM node in multimodal research methodologies at the UCL Institute of Education.






Dr Marion Walton, University of Cape Town. Jun 4, 5-6.30 pm, London Knowledge Lab.


Schools around the world are under pressure to replace or supplement computer literacy classes with computer programming or ‘coding’. At universities, even would-be journalists are admonished to “learn to code” if they want employment in a dismal job market. Given the importance of visual languages and media in coding curricula, there is surprisingly little research on what coding means for multimodal theory.

This may be because coding is like cooking. Most of the action happens in the gap between ingredients and cooked meal, and the process remains obscure to those who only see the end product. Understanding the role of multimodality in learning to code requires a look beyond the finished digital artefact. We need to make sense of the relationship between source code, software and the internal seams of digital media.

I present a low cost media literacy coding curriculum presented collaboratively with Bhavana Harrilal. We emphasised tangible programming, web-making, visual design, FOSS development processes, mobile compatibility and game design and development. This approach proved valuable not only for the design and production of a browser game but for the insights it provided into the representational and conceptual processes at work as young people took on apprentice roles as programmers and digital designers in our coding kitchen.

This event is free, but places must be booked. Please visit the MODE  events page, or contact Naomi Buneman on MODE@ioe.ac.uk.

Posted by:Andrew Burn

University College London Gower Street London WC1E 6BT

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