This week (Dec 7 – 13) starts an international phenomenon – The Hour of Code. In celebration of Computer
Science Education week, this worldwide event (more than 4400 in Canada and across 180 countries) offer an opportunity for teachers and students to dabble in computer coding and demystify the basic workings of video games and computer processes.
Technology has infiltrated almost everything in our lives. From Gameboy and Wii consoles to FitBits, wearable technologies that sing to you and artificial mini heart pumps, it all starts with a little bit of problem solving and logic. More specifically introductions of directions like “walk 2 spaces, turn left” to conditional logic “if this happens, then do that..” Reminds me a bit of writing those “create your own adventure” novels. At its very core are the foundations of problem solving, logic and creativity. Yes it takes creativity to give a character a set of possibilities beyond the gameboard. What about soft skills like risk-taking, persistence, cooperative learning, collaboration, conversation, self regulated learning, experiential learning – all part of the journey deeply embedded in authentic practice. Who hasn’t gotten caught up in Candy Crush or Angry Birds? Code resides under the larger umbrella of Digital Literacy. It is also part of the new curriculum (embedded in each curricular area) with its own framework K-9 Applied Design, Skills and Technologies (draft).
Come join us this week or spill into next week. Our focus goal is ‘purposeful play’. Here are some resources to get you started (and NO you don’t always need computers):
- An Educators Guide to Hour of Code (youtube video)
- Hour of Code
- No computers? Start with Creating Robot Language (use cups and pencil). Fun, Fun, Fun!
- Tutorials for teachers/students to watch and do (build activities – Star Wars, Frozen, Minecraft)
- Make drawings with code (Khan Academy)
- Program with Tynker (structured online creations) *Be aware of FIPPA as content resides on US servers (sign up students with minimal student information)! If you’re unsure, please email our Learning Technologies team.
- Got iPads? Hopscotch Hour of Code
Please share your stories with us or scribble a comment here. We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.