StoryCode Workshops

The principles of StoryCoding can be learned in fun, hands on workshops that leave participants confident in digital fundamentals and creative software. Teachers will be ready to incorporate and pass on their new skills throughout their curricula, no matter the subject area. Each workshop features memorable fiction, powerful themes and metaphors, interdisciplinary connections and expressive code products that are fun to make.

1The Lady or the Tiger?(as compYOUters, below)binarylove & betrayalnonehalf
2CompYOUters"The Lady or the Tiger?"
by Frank Stockton, adapted
hardware & software
basics, binary
love & betrayal,
Scratch2 to 3
3Network MagicA Wizard of Earthsea
by Ursula K. LeGuin
file names, types & paths,
networks, websites
worldly knowledge
vs. self-knowledge
1 to 3
4Tough Guy LogicFILM: Miller's Crossing
by Joel & Ethan Coen,
The Maltese Falcon
by Daschiell Hammett
data & commands,
love vs. logicBASIC1 to 3
5AlgorithmicThe Maltese Falcon
by Daschiell Hammett
algorithms, documentationlove vs.
Python1 to 5
6Functionally PsychicMind of My Mind
by Octavia Butler
variables, algorithms, graphics
and functions
power, slavery,
Python1 to 5

1. The Lady or the Tiger?

An adaptation of Frank Stockton's short story models how computers see the world.
This workshop covers the full 3 lessons referred to in the sample lesson "The Lady or the Tiger?"


2. CompYOUters

The basics begin with you.
Rooted in what you already know about yourself, this workshop provides an unshakable understanding of the eternal basics of the digital machine: hardware & software, programs & data and 1s & 0s, as well as the binary that makes it all go. Building knowledge and confidence about what happens when they use their computers, participants learn to express themselves in Scratch, a quick to learn, fun and versatile programming environment.


3. Network Magic

A Wizard of Earthsea decodes websites & the Internet.
The magical education of Ursula LeGuin's Sparrowhawk reveals the patterns, power and beauty of HTML, the language of the World Wide Web. Participants learn how computer networks connect us to all the world's data and use their new skills to produce websites unveiling that most unique and mysterious of all subjects, you.


4. Gangster Logic

Untangling love, money and power
in the film Miller's Crossing

Logic becomes the key to survival in the Coen brothers' gangster classic. As its characters dramatize the root level propositions of programming, participants model their understanding in the classic BASIC language, recreating the twisting choices of the film in software.

5. Functionally Psychic

In Mind of My Mind, the anatomy of a program
Octavia Butler's novel of scheming psychics doesn't just deconstruct race, power and slavery, it shows you how to properly construct a complex computer program. While sorting telepaths from telekinetics, participants code in the accessible, supple and powerful language Python, used professionally in every industry today.




Order StoryCode Workshops

A Note on Workshop Length
The optimum length of a StoryCode workshop depends mostly on how much programming the participants wish to learn and how much they already know. A team of well read, experienced web designers, for example, would take less than a day to absorb and process the literary aspects of the Network Magic workshop. A different group with strong computer skills learning HTML for the first time would need at least 2 days to produce the workshop's websites while a set of eager novices would require 3 days.

Do I Have to Read the Book?
A StoryCode workshop uses a particular literary text to guide the understanding of a set of computer programming concepts and skills. The workshop loses much of its value if the participants have not done the reading beforehand. If your group is interested in the quickest, most direct instruction in computer programming with the minimum of analysis, synthesis and reflection involved, then StoryCode is probably not what you want.

Facilities and Numbers
StoryCode workshops take place at your facility and assume that there will be at least 1 computer workstation available for each pair of participants. The software listed for each workshop (a text editor like PSPad in the case of Network Magic and Chipmunk BASIC for Gangster Logic) should be installed and tested on each workstation before the day of the workshop.

A StoryCode workshop is designed for up to 20 participants. Workshops with a greater number of people may still be held, but the amount of individual feedback during coding that is possible declines significantly.