“What makes this even better is that it’s not just the jobs or the coolness, either. But also the creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and other skills ripe for improvement as byproducts of kids learning to code.”
I can say with confidence that coding is not something that I am familiar with and the whole premise behind coding, both digitally and without a computer is very new to me. However, it is something that I am thoroughly enjoying gaining more knowledge about. The benefits that I have found from researching are definitely clear:
- Math: Helps visualize abstract concepts, apply math to real-world situations and makes math fun/creative
- Writing: Understand the value of concision and planning
- Creativity: Kids learn through exploring, coding allows them to embrace their creativity
- Confidence: Confidence building as they learn to problem-solve through coding
- Focus and Organization: As they write code, kids naturally develop better focus and organization
- Resilience: With coding also comes debugging, they build perseverance when working through challenges
- Communication: It teaches logical communication, strengthening both verbal and written skills. Also, learning code = learning a new language!
- Empowerment: Kids can be empowered to make a difference when they code
- Life Skills: Basic literacy in the digital age, and it’s important for kids to understand be able to innovate with the technology around them
- Career Preparation: High demand for workers in the tech industry, mastering coding at a young age allows kids to excel in a variety of fields. Opening so many doors!
I also found a couple of amazing visuals that put similar information and/or extensions of the above reasoning into an easy to look at and reader-friendly version.
- Coding Teaches Kids:
- The link includes the below infographic, along with WHY coding is important for kids and some fun ideas for coding with kids without a computer
- 10 Reasons to Teach Coding
- I shared this visual on my Twitter account to share with my fellow #edtc friends and it was exciting how many people appreciated the share!
The Beginning of my Own Coding Exploration
I decided to begin my own exploration using Code.org. I decided to first head over to their about page located along the top toolbar. Code.org is a nonprofit that is dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools, along with increasing participation rates of women and underrepresented youth. Their vision is that “every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer science.” Code.org also organizes the Hour of Code program. This program has engaged more than 15% of all students in the world. They are also supported by recognizable donours such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, among others. I really appreciate the foundation for Code.org’s vision, I think it’s outstanding that they strive for the inclusion of underrepresented minorities.
Now to the Fun Part
I decided to use a combination of a screencasting application and iMovie to bring together my coding exploration which I exported to Youtube. Within the video below, I have included the process that I followed, a quick tutorial along with my completed game.
You can also find and try my game here.
Throughout the process of creating my own game, I can say for sure that I will be using coding in my own classroom. Not only is it an enjoyable type of learning, but it teaches so many skills that students might not necessarily realize. For example, there were times that my patience was severely tested when I was would be tasked with figuring out why something wasn’t working. I also really like the idea that coding can be integrated with or without access to technology, which increases accessibility. I included a few non-technology examples below:
After going through a process of creating my own code, I further recognize the value that it plays in the classroom and in student’s lives as a whole. Also, how cool is it to be able to say that I created my own version of Flappy Bird?