Saturday, December 12, 2015

Hour of Code


You may knew that last week was deducted to the hour of code.  I used to wonder why there are designated times to honor poetry, no tv time, digital citizenship, etc. because aren't these things we should doing and recognizing every day?  Well, now I know it's because there is always someone who may it be aware and who will become aware during these designates time periods. For me, that is true with coding. 

Before hour of code I was pretty clueless about coding. I did not understand what it was or why bother doing it with children. Part of that may also be because I was out of the classroom for three years and did not have the time or purpose to truly learn about coding. I am transformed. 

I now work with primary students (PreK-2) and they loved coding!  Coding looks different for different ages. For primary students it is using apps like Kodable, Bee-Bot, Daisy the Dinosaur, The Foos, and Lightbot Hour.  At first this didn't seem like coding to me, but indeed it is. These apps require young programmers to provide simple commands to adorable characters. They make characters move up, down, and across.  

                                   

This may sound simple, particularly for programmers who were born into the digital age, but it is challenging. Each game begins on the easy side, building the young programmer's confidence and ability. As they become more proficient with coding the difficulty increases. They have to provide more commands and move those adorable characters through more complex paths.  

These are actually important skills for our students to use. When using Kodable on the computer they re practicing mouse, literacy (reading directions), and digital literacy (reading digital signs like the okay arrow). When using the coding apps on iPads they are using their touchscreen screen skills in addition to the literacy skills. Believe me, these are skills that digital natives seem to need! So because of this and the fact that they loved it I am working towards there always being a coding station in the media center.