Day 105 (of 185) presenting on coding
Friday Feb 17 was a great day of sharing about coding: https://technolandy.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/coding-k-12-feb-2017.pdf
Impressive because of how many people attended because they really wanted to see what coding can look like at all ages – and impressive because of the ideas that were shared and expanded upon!
One of my shares focuses on the fact that “we” (as educators) already do a lot of activities that activate a coding mindset….the shift is that we need to be mindful of these opportunities and expand/follow up in the right ways! I appreciated one lady sharing that she was nervous about embracing coding because she worried it was going to be all about using screens – something I continue to emphasize that it doesn’t have to be. There is a right time and place for coding to actually be done using technology (in order to see it in practice) but when working on the mindset, there is a wide range of tools that can be used!
I am (more and more) happy to “push” and encourage ‘those things that can be done with just a pencil be done with that tool’, but acknowledging that the right tool for the right user at the right time can get a lot more done than just the minimal necessities….but the wrong tool may be just as ineffective….
Which is partly why I like the use of centres to address coding and ADST https://technolandy.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/day-96-of-185-coding-entry-points/
It allows learners to try a few different strategies and approaches out and figure out what works for them, and what does not…..and what they may need to work with whether they like it or not —> wanna build a video game? lego is great for design thinking, but is not the right ‘language’ for that!
I still encourage “Coding is a way of thinking”. This means that a lot of what we “need” to teach can be done so in a variety of ways. I would love to have a class set of iPads in order to push more into the games that are leading into proper coding, such as Swift (and it’s app Swifty) –> apps/languages like this that start out with a “game mode” and then scale up by revealing more and more of the language behind it can be invaluable as it allows differentiation “at the right time” – so the learner, no matter what the age, can take on a greater challenge when the time for them (not the calendar) is right!
I am really enjoying some of the conversations that can get started when questions are asked about coding. I am even happier to see that the work that I’ve been doing on a centres-approach has spread to other districts (some great pics and shoutouts via twitter) as more and more educators are taking greater and greater risks embracing a coding mindset, and sharing their successes so that more and more centres may become available as an à la carte selection process to determine what works best for the user!