Week Six Reflection (Emergtech)

This week’s blog hit home for me because I’ve tried to take a coding class the first time I went to college (in 2000) and it was too difficult, so I dropped it. I find coding to be very frustrating to me. I know some people love it and enjoy the challenge, but I just can’t get the hang of it. My main concern is that I need to be careful not to project my feelings to my students. I need them to try it for themselves and make their own decisions about it. I appreciate that Stephen Oro shared Hour of Code with me on my blog. It is something I will be looking into to see if it would be appropriate for first grade students. I can at least do the tutorials on my own first and see how it goes. Jessica made a good point about not having a fixed mindset and I need to push myself to get out of my fixed mindset more often. I think it will take time and practice for me to overcome it. Another point that was made about coding in schools is how difficult it is to have a dedicated time or teacher because of curriculum requirements and underfunding. Personally, I am going to try some different coding websites with my students this fall and see how it goes. I know I can get into our computer lab at least once a week. It might not be a lot, but it is a good place to start.


1 thought on “Week Six Reflection (Emergtech)

  1. I did not have the opportunity to read your blog until Monday, so I am posting my most convincing argument for coding in school as a response to your blog.
    The most compelling argument for computer coding in schools is that coding is an activity that demands critical thinking. A person who works with coding has to repeatedly consider, “If I do this, then this will happen.” Conversely they must reflect, “If I want this to occur, what must I do?” There are very few activities in school where the result of an action is so directly obvious, and most of them (arts, crafts, and industrial sciences, chemistry, physics) require the use of expensive materials that must be replaced any time there is an error or the product does not turn out as expected. A board cut too short cannot be made longer again, but a coded activity can be revised over and over again until the desired result is achieved.
    Not all students enjoy and are successful at art, and not all students will enjoy and be successful at coding. Is it as essential to lifelong success like learning to read? No, but for many students the opportunities found at school are the only opportunities they will get. We do not expect our students to become Rembrandts and Hoppers when we do art activities in school, so we should not expect our students to become Steve Jobs or John Connor. But if your students have access to computers, coding exercises would be as valuable an experience as hearing a good-quality folktale.
    If your students are between the ages of 3-8, I recommend hourofcode.com. There is an Angry Birds version and a Frozen princesses version.
    For younger students I recommend playcodemonkey.com. I had a hard time stopping when I was using this.
    Sorry, no ideas for older students. Let your students work in pairs and teach each other!


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