Day 48 (of 186) getting ready for #hourofcode
On my site I have always had a “virtual assignments” area https://technolandy.wordpress.com/virtual-assignments/
I first used it so that my students would have a site to go to at home that was “Mr Landy approved” which meant that games and sites had connections to curriculum – not always apparent, but always there….. So when parents asked for “homework” I always pointed that direction – play games to enjoy math.
More recently I have been able to add in nice connections such as a Geoboard link so that we can discuss area and perimeter and some other “games” that will promote ideas for #hourofcode – but the mindset continues: providing a hub where the gamification of education can be indulged…..I learned (and reinforced) a lot of world geography via Where in the World is Carmen San Diego and got some early design thinking nudges using Sim City. I learned about ‘multiple lives’ via PacMan and sometimes “harder” just means life comes at you faster and faster.
I love that Lemonade Stand could teach about making predictions and looking at averages and Deal or No Deal helps reinforce ‘playing the odds’. I also support “calling a life line” and sometimes asking for a vowel – though Fowl Words and it’s connection to Making Words is probably a better spelling reinforcer than Wheel of Fortune was….and my one regret was not being able to finish the HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy game (but that’s balanced by me never buying the ET game for my Atari).
There is a lot that can be learned with a Coding Mindset – and I love that code.org s Hadi Partovi has enabled a platform for this to happen. Because as much as I loved/love playing video games, I also loved getting the magazines that had “free” games – you just had to copy the code onto a diskette…..and then realize you made a mistake somewhere and compare lines of code….and then see x’s move against o’s in a titanic battle of football (or was it Pong….?) So it was great seeing my class take on the new minecraft challenge: Hero’s Journey and see all of us have easy successes and then have to work out obstacles (sometimes because we were overthinking the problem) and then achieve success – all in less than an hour…..but we have to build up our endurance for a fortnight from now when the #hourofcode strikes!