Reflection Week 6

This week we learned about coding!  I had limited knowledge of what coding was before this week.  I knew it was about computers and I knew it was about creating programs on the computer.  I also thought it had something to do with binary coding, where you type series of 0 and 1 to talk to the computer.  My background knowledge wasn’t too far off, but it wasn’t exactly right either.  Turns out that you can code using terms and methods other than binary code, and you can use coding to do fun things like creating games and cards!

Rachel posted a really great definition of coding, that coding is basically telling a computer what to do!  Im glad that I stumbled across her blog this week and found that definition, because it is a quick and clear way to explain coding.

I really enjoyed the Ted Talk video by Mitch Resnick.  He explained coding and its benefits really well, and his program Scratch seems so great.  That is somethings that I could really use in my classroom.  It seems easy (relatively speaking) and fun!

Unfortunately I missed the twitter chat this week, but I was able to go back and read over the conversation that took place seemed really interesting, and I was able to get a lot of insight from others in the class sharing their thoughts and opinions.

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One thought on “Reflection Week 6

  1. I did not have the opportunity to read your blog until Monday, so I am posting my most convincing argument for coding in school as a response to your blog.
    The most compelling argument for computer coding in schools is that coding is an activity that demands critical thinking. A person who works with coding has to repeatedly consider, “If I do this, then this will happen.” Conversely they must reflect, “If I want this to occur, what must I do?” There are very few activities in school where the result of an action is so directly obvious, and most of them (arts, crafts, and industrial sciences, chemistry, physics) require the use of expensive materials that must be replaced any time there is an error or the product does not turn out as expected. A board cut too short cannot be made longer again, but a coded activity can be revised over and over again until the desired result is achieved.
    Not all students enjoy and are successful at art, and not all students will enjoy and be successful at coding. Is it as essential to lifelong success like learning to read? No, but for many students the opportunities found at school are the only opportunities they will get. We do not expect our students to become Rembrandts and Hoppers when we do art activities in school, so we should not expect our students to become Steve Jobs or John Connor. But if your students have access to computers, coding exercises would be as valuable an experience as hearing a good-quality folktale.
    The coding I am referring to is for elementary students and uses pre-coded bits that the students arrange to cause an action on the screen.
    If your students are between the ages of 3-8, I recommend hourofcode.com. There is an Angry Birds version and a Frozen princesses version. Students watch a short tutorial then try what they watched.
    For younger students I recommend playcodemonkey.com. I had a hard time stopping when I was using this.
    Sorry, no ideas for older students. Let your students work in pairs and teach each other!

    Like

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