Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Coding - part 1 of 2

   This week is Computer Science Education Week. Over 5 million students worldwide are participating in a type of coding class. Now, my 23 8th graders are part of that 5 million!

        Thanks to Rachel Dayanim (a parent in the class) who gave me the head's up about this wonderful opportunity provided by Khanacademy, my students are trying out coding for an hour. The Khanacademy learning module "Hour of Code" gives a taste to anyone who is interested in coding.

       As I told the 8th graders on Monday, coding is now part of many school's regular academic components (along with the "three Rs"). Given how technologically connected and dependent we are, and that many "inventions" today are designed by or involve coding, it is clear why learning how to code is an essential skill (even if it is not one's interests, understanding and playing with it will give much insight into the world of technology).  The truth is that many students have already experienced coding with games such as Minecraft, Scratch, and Tynker. This mini coding course will expose my students to the language of coding. For those who become hooked, I will be giving them additional opportunities to explore and learn the world of coding. 
      Students started their journeys yesterday, during our Monday PrimeTime class. They will finish up their projects the following Mondays.

     Stay tuned for next week - I can't wait to see what my students create! I am also gaining insight into how they have developed the skills of student-driven learning - a goal of mine since September!!