The video makes some very interesting points that coding is really like teaching a foreign language. A language that people all over the world learn to speak. You think about the vast changes that have occurred in the realm of technology. Those changes are all thanks to people that have jobs where they use this language that causes a computer to perform tasks. (I’m actually friends with quite a few of them.) Sadly, I have never learned to code, but I think it is about time that I start to dabble in it if I am going to prepare students for a future that is going to be saturated with technological devices. So just like how the video ended, I will be visiting code.org to start the process.
There are two big opportunities for our students as part of East Noble School Corporation to become familiar with coding language. The first one is Hopscotch for the iPad. Not only does it gives students the concept of basic coding, but it also focuses on relevant elementary mathematics skills. Addition, subtractions, negatives, degrees/angles, and coordinate planes are just to name a few. Students can create an animated story or reenact a scene in a book through Hopscotch, and use these cross-curricular skills in order to to make it happen. Here is a short tutorial on how to get started with Hopscotch. Keep in mind, there is much more to it than just making a character move left and right. However, this tutorial will at least give you a basic idea of how it works.
Another opportunity is Scratch, and it works on a traditional PC or Mac computer. You may actually want to create an account through Scratched because it is the education version. They are also considering making accounts that a teacher can create under his/her username so that he/she can view and control the environment. For now, you can create a classroom account and all students could use the same username and password for the coding projects. Scratch will provide the same skills as hopscotch. In fact, it is very similar in some ways, but provides more options. This is no surprise since it has been available for quite some time. Here is a short video that will give you a better idea about Scratch: