So... coding... I always thought coding was something for only incredibly smart computer people. Turns out ANYONE can do coding *gasp*. I was shocked. When I seen coding on my #edtc300 classes weekly plans I truly let out a groan. I had no clue how this was going to work and didn't think I'd actually learn anything. I was very wrong. As soon as we talked about coding I realised I knew nothing about it. In case you don't either, coding is the computer programming that assigns and identifies actions. For a better explanation, check out the video below.
In our class, we together created code for a few different programs, including a Star Wars game. Poor BB-8 didn't know what was coming. However we did figure different steps out and ended up having fun. The biggest thing that made coding possible for us was by using these different programs and by doing an Hour of Code on code.org.
After looking through all the cool projects possible on this site, I decided to do my own Hour of Code.
When doing my Hour of Code I started by finding a comfy spot on the couch and made sure to have a snack handy. I was ready for the worst. I first decided on what kind of program I wanted to choose. I decided on classic maze. To my excitement I was able to code (or play) multiple games like angry birds, a bouncy ball game, ice age game, and more.
Find some of my attempts below.
Now that I have tried coding out, I am all for bringing it into my classroom. In the article "This is Why Kids Need to Learn Code" emphasises that coding is actually an important skill. There are three basic skills in this article that I can now fully understand and support coding. These three reasons as to why coding is important are:
1. Problem solving - "Writing, debugging and remixing your own and other people’s code are fundamentally problem-solving activities." While blogging I found myself constantly problem solving and become successful on a task.
2. (Digital) Confidence - I find that confidence is very important for ones self in many different aspects. The article compares coding to a type of literacy, stating the importance of literacy for students. "In digital (or blended) environments, this means people not only being able to decode what they see, but encode it too: reading, writing and thinking computationally instead of merely elegantly consuming what others have produced."
3. Understanding the World - "In a world where almost everything has either a digital component or is somehow digitally mediated, being able to both read and write our environment is more important than ever." This again relates to literacy. Technology has become an overpowering factor in the world and what students are interested in. This ideally will help students in the world as everything is dependent on technology and coding.
Throughout my coding experience I found that coding can be fun and a valuable lesson. There is much more to coding than I ever could of thought. Bringing in this type of activity in the class will not only meet the needs of the curriculum, but also connect directly to the students (and the real world). I am now so excited to bring coding into my classroom and see what both the students and I can learn together.
Here are a few examples of activities for bringing coding into the classroom:
If you are interested in trying some coding for yourself, check out these sites:
- Hour of Code - https://studio.code.org/courses
- Scratch - https://scratch.mit.edu/
- Code Academy - https://www.codecademy.com/learn