After I attended a tutorial for the ICT course I am currently enrolled in at uni, I left feeling a little confused. For a brief moment during the tutorial there was a small discussion about coding and how we as teachers to be, need to teach coding to students. What on earth does that mean?! After doing a little bit on studying, here is what I have picked up.
As you are aware, the world is becoming more and more technologically advanced. There are not many environments that do not include some form of technology, and evidently, that also includes schools. Technology is as much a part of daily life as it is to eat, drink and sleep. In schools there is a great need for students to become capable and fluent learners when using technology. This is where the term “coding” comes into play. Just as students become fluent with language and literacy learning, they are now also having to become fluent with using technologies in order to express themselves and their ideas.
So now that you have some understanding of what coding is and why it is so important, you’re probably thinking “how do I teach students to code?!”. Well, here are but a few suggestions.
Hello Ruby is a website that explains programming fundamentals to kids and includes detailed lesson plans for integrating the coding concepts into the classroom for students aged 5 and over.
Code.org teaches students basic programming by providing guided exercises for students to complete. This site is a fantastic way of bringing coding into the classroom. An added bonus is that it is completely free to use! So get onto it!
Scratch is a programming language and an online community where students create, program and share interactive media stories. This site encourages student to think creatively, work collaboratively and reason systematically, which is everything that coding is about. It should be noted however; Scratch is better suited to middle years’ students as it requires more than just basic coding knowledge to engage successfully with the product.
Girls who Code is a fantastic site that encourages girls into the coding phenomena!
Lastly, CS Unplugged is a website that provides activities for the classroom that teaches programming fundamentals without the use of ICT devices. This is an amazing website, especially if you find yourself having to teach coding with limited access to technologies.
I hope that this has been insightful and you feel a little more savvy about coding!