So recently, I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to amp up my tech-savvy ways, what with this being an “i” school and all. I wouldn’t say that I am a complete Neanderthal when it comes to technology and all that jazz, but I also find my brain starts to fritz out when people start talking code and programming. Feeling particularly proactive and energetic today, I decided to take a moment and delve into the world of code.
I decided to try Code.org‘s Hour of Code where they use Blockly, visual blocks that help you drag and drop portions of code, rather than worrying about typing out everything. Basically, you drag blocks of text that show each step!
This was not only great for me (clueless/codeless), but also great for kids. It allows kids to start learning coding concepts without getting bogged down with spelling and typing skills. It offers great scaffolded (#teacherbuzzword) step by step learning goals. This is a FREE tool too!
You can choose if you want to do a Star Wars, Minecraft, or Frozen themed lesson. I, of course, chose Frozen where Elsa and Anna ice skate patterns of snowflakes onto the ice. Not only was it a really fun and a great way to learn, but it also got me in the mood for some holiday music! Cue Baby It’s Cold Outside…
In order to be even cooler/more tech savvy/young/hip/fantastic, I decided to live tweet my coding extravaganza using the hashtags #HourOfCode and #iYouth. Here is what resulted (some highlights):
The hints were super helpful!
Who knew there’d be so much math!
If anyone needs ideas for me for Christmas…
I was very concerned!
LIKE A CHAMP!
So for an overall reflection, this is a super fun learning tool that builds on prior knowledge. This is the way learning SHOULD be. I’d love to see this concept be applied to even more school concepts. It required angle and fraction knowledge, which was a great review, even for an old-lady grad student! Also, math is hard. Also, SPIROGRAPHS (hello child of the ’80s/’90s). Also, coding Disney Princesses. I think I’m hooked!
If you’re one of those people overwhelmed by the feeling of needing to be an expert at everything but don’t know where to start, this is a great entry point! It sure would be a shame let the fear of not knowing something prevent you from trying to learn. And to those of you who are experts, please continue to be awesome and patient when people have questions. You never know when you might need an expert to help you out.