When it comes to coding, I have a decent amount of experience. In fact, I’ve worked with Scratch before, but it was in high school. However, it was pretty easy to jump back in. I was able to throw a game together pretty quickly, even if it is pretty basic and rough. It basically just moving a platform back and forth to stop balls from hitting the ground. I made 2 sprites, both just rectangles, to make the ground and “player”, and took one of the pre-made ball png’s from the website. I started by just making the player box move left and right when you press the left and right arrow keys. Then, I made the ball drop and reset every time it started. Then, I made sure the ball cloned itself each time the player moved stops it from hitting the ground. Then I made a simple counter. Try out my game on Scratch if you want. And if you want a look at the code, its below.
I actually started as a Computer Science major last year before switching to education. I enjoyed it, but couldn’t see myself working in that field. For me, I’ve never believed coding was a necessary skill in life. I can’t think of any point day to day when my experience with coding has really helped me with anything other than homework. Now, I’m not saying this is a useless skill. In fact, it can be incredibly useful, but I believe it depends on your career path, or if its a hobby. Unlike Math, English, or even some of the other sciences, applying any skills you learn coding into your life would be incredibly specific.
However, like how biology or physics in mostly about how learning about how the world around you works. You won’t apply much of what you learn in these classes to your life, unless you want to peruse a career in these fields. I think CS can kind of be thought of in a similar sense. The more our world goes digital, the more important it becomes to know how code actually work. In a sense, it is about understanding the world around you, but a much more specific part of it. Personally, I think giving the students options to take computer science if they wish to is fine. However, I think learning the basics of how code works (even if they don’t learn to code themselves) would help students understand the digital world a bit better.