Hour of Code is Not Just For the Techie Nerds!

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While the big push for the Hour of Code was mid December, 2013, we're still at it! Code.org has created some tremendous content that makes it so easy for even the least techie among us to begin to understand the process of coding...and it doesn't matter if you're in kindergarten or a senior in high school; they have provided content available for all ages...in fact, the option I chose said it was for everyone from 6 to 106! Check out this informational video below:


The website has some great opportunities and resources that teachers can utilize to in classroom with their students. There is even a K-8 Introduction to Computer Science curriculum!

Here are some 2nd grade bilingual students from Martha Lackey's class at J.A. Vitovsky Elementary that have taken the challenge:

Many may be asking why the big push for teaching coding...but there has been a lot written about how many jobs in the future are going to need these skills and we just aren't educating enough students to fill those positions. But beyond the future job market, it's a great opportunity to teach critical thinking skills, problem solving skills as well as creativity. In the video below, Mitch Resnick, director of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT Media Lab, discusses the importance of young people becoming fluent in expressing themselves with new technologies, having the ability to go beyond just searching for information or navigating the Internet. He stated that not only are kids learning to code, they are coding to learn because as they code, it enables them to learn many other things. 



At FETC 2014, Google Senior Education Evangelist, Jaime Casap commented that we need to view technology as today's education infrastructure. Technology in and of itself is not education's silver bullet, great education is. Technology is meant to support that great education. With that in mind, it seems logical that we begin to integrate these skills into our curriculum in an effort to take learning deeper.

A way to extend the learning of computer coding: have students write about their experiences. This learning provides great opportunities for writing procedural narrative...expository writing that is difficult for the younger students. The writing also provides students that time to reflect on their coding experiences, taking the learning to a deeper level. So jump on the coding bandwagon with us as we embark on this adventure.
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