Getting Started with Coding at School
Who would have thought that coding and programming would become a hot topic in the world of education? In honor of the "Hour of Code" an annual, world-wide event which seeks to introduce students to Computer Science Education Week, from December 5th-11th, we decided to curate tools, tips, and resources to support you in giving coding a try in your school or classroom.
Why Teach Students Code?
This week's theme: Coding in the Classroom
While learning a foreign language has been linked to increased Math and English Language Arts test scores, students do not need to learn a spoken language to reap those benefits. Enter coding, which offers the same advantages while increasing neuroplasticity as well. The following articles provide support for tackling coding in your classroom or school:
"Calling All Learners...for Hour of Code 2016" via Edutopia
"...Learning the Future Language of Business" via Entrepreneur.com
You don't have to be a Computer Science teacher or expert to guide your students through coding in class, and the "Hour of Code" is a great way to start. In fact, you can learn alongside them. The following resources show exactly how you can do so.
"A Beginner's Guide to Coding in the Classroom" via EdSurge
How to Teach One Hour of Code via Hour Of Code
As mentioned in #2, the annual "Hour of Code" event is an easy way to expose students to computer science in a fun and engaging manner. In four years, the event has grown to encompass 180+ countries worldwide. If you are interested in hosting an event in your classroom or school, be sure to visit the links below:
Hour of Code
Computer Science Education Week, December 5-11, 2016
You can also follow the online discussion via the hashtag #HourOfCode on social media.
Inside the Hour of Code
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The Friday 5: Concise, curated content to enhance the digital and multimedia learning in your corner of the world.
Student-Created (and Coded) Games
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If time, resources, or lack of expertise are a roadblock to exposing your students to coding in the classroom, consider building an app! There are many resources available to create apps for free (or a low-cost) that can benefit your classroom. One such product is called Snappy Appypie. Take a look at how Pebblebrook HS P.E. Coach Brittny Jones created one to make staying active fun for her high schoolers.
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Whether or not you and your students participate in the Hour of Code, they (and you) can always create your own video games for free.
Articles and Literature on the Benefits of Students Playing Video Games
Games in the Classroom, What the Research Says via Mind/Shift
Video Games May Provide...Benefits via American Psychological Association
Resources for students to create video games
Gamemaking and Design Tools via BrainPOP Educators
Scratch and Scratch jr. (created by M.I.T.)
McClure MS Technology Teacher E.Zinette Davis' students code regularly using Scratch.
Unlocking Other Opportunities
Researching and preparing for this issue yielded so many fascinating resources that it was challenging to include them all in each of the five focuses of this edition of The Friday 5. Check out the "overflow" resources below.
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Consider using these resources to turn students from consumers into producers of games. Have students create connections between course content and the game-creation process.
More articles about the potential benefits of video games:
8 Reasons Video Games Can Improve Your Child via Parents.com
7 Video Games That Will Help Your Kids in School via Huffington Post
How to create video games/Game creation resources
How to Create a Video Game (Experience Not Required) via Digital Trends
Students use blocks to create game backgrounds.
They then use the Bloxels app to capture that image.
After designing a character, students can play their game!
On Sunday, December 3rd, Holly Frilot, Supervisor of Library Media Education hosted #CobbChat on the subject of Coding to kick off Computer Science Education Week. Take a look at the online conversation by scrolling through the hashtag #cobbchat to review the conversation she facilitated.
More on Video Games
#CobbChat featuring Holly Frilot