All posts by Dani

Creating Connections and Understanding Connections: John Dewey and the present world of Education

How can we understand new educational trends in relation to the global network context?

John Dewey believed in:

  • Creating connections, specifical connections to nature
  • Learning through interacting with the environment
  • Interactive, hands-on learning
  • Encouraging discussion between students, debate, and constructive problem-solving
  • Interdisciplinary education, and understanding connections

Philosophically, he championed education as a necessary agent of social change. He was a well-respected philosopher, educator and psychologist who sought to cultivate a better world and increased connectivity, fairness and experience of humanity for all.

John Dewey’s work and literature The School and Society highlight progressive education with a focused on two main points: his observed views of the tendencies of education.

  1. New educational trends are reflections of our current social context – and are part of an inevitable effort to bring educational in line with broader systems of globalization.
  2. He believed in democratic social ideals – so he wondered how we could align educational change with these.

How can we use the work of Dewey and modern like-minded scholars, to examine our present education system?

Scholars who believe in progression and change, and hold a democratic worldview will likely resonate deeply with Dewey’s work, as he describes large-scale trends and movements in education through a progressive lens. What is different from today, then from 100 years ago, is our direction: advancements in technology, science and social justice have formed, emerged and settled many times over. What is not different today about Dewey, is ultimate, his compass of the world. Social idealism promotes continual progress, growth and change, moving towards a more fair and just society. 

“New educational trends, including active and cooperative learning, interdisciplinary projects, networked distance learning and global corporate universities, can be accounted for as more or less conscious attempts to bring learning in line with the changing patterns of life and work activities in the global network society.” (Waks, 2013, p. 77).

Dewey’s encouragement towards a more natural environment reminds me of the Yukon First Nations movements in Education. Incredible efforts are made by dedicated educators and stakeholders to offer more land-based opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students alike. I think this is one example of what Dewey had in mind when he suggested the importance of interconnectedness and nature. Our present education system in the North allows us to establish more connections with both Native culture and nature for our children.

References:

Walks, L. 2013. John Dewey and the challenge of progressive education. International Journal of Progressive Education 9(1).
Dewey, J. (1899). The school and society. University of Chicago Press.

Human Complexity and the Development of Curriculum

Photo by Tony Gonda (used with permission). A Yukon dandelion going to seed, in front of a flowering dandelion. There are layers, complexities and stages in flowers, just as there are in curriculum policy and its processes of development.

The process of developing curriculum is more much complicated than it initially appears. Many considerations – ideology, values, public issues and interests – shape the direction of curriculum development.

To understand how curriculum exists in its present state, we must look to the past, and understand its various stages of development to arrive at its present point.

A lengthy process may be involved in the development of the curriculum. For new ideas to arise, shape society, stir social change as well as social unrest with the status quo of learning, all involve the considerable passage of time.

Within this, humans have complex and varying beliefs about the world, which direction we are heading, which direction we “ought” to go, and where our energies are most needed. The discussion of these, and the debate, and who even ought to be the head of these decisions shape our politics.

To teach a child a certain set of ideas is to prepare them or equip them with specific knowledge and tools. Their ways of being will shape the future world.  Our children are our future, and yet our visions of the future are variable. As people, they are free agents, but so much of what we teach them shapes who they become.

While progression is ideal, necessary and valuable, one must not forget that the slow movement of change allows people time to come together and, most ideally, for democratic processes to occur. Democracy allows for many voices to shape the path forward, which prevents the kind of fast-moving change that can be difficult to sustain.

New curriculum forms, as the world we live in changes, and educators and their stakeholders gather to incrementally shift the guiding documents, to match the path most suitable for the best-agreed upon future ideals of the world – to try to help shape the unknown.

Challenging “Good” in Education

In Chapter two, Kumashiro discusses how the expectations we have of our students can colour and deeply influence the ways we perceive and interpret their behaviours.

A “commonsense” understanding of the student, is that to be “good” you must know how to behave properly, be able to sit still in class, listen attentively, provide answers upon demand and participate as asked by the teacher. Kusmashiro discusses how this expectation backfires, in their initial response of frustration towards a student and inability to “manage” the class.

They later realized that they were not reaching the student at the level they required.

Kusmashiro begins to realize that with students with these kinds of struggles, it may in fact be the institution and its overarching structures that fail to meet the demands of the kids.

Looking back through years of teacher training processes, various theoretical frameworks have shaped the influence of developing teacher minds. Post-secondary pedagogy, and all of the underlying processes that have shaped it, are vast, woven into the fabric of our culture, socio-political climate, and global connections. We are all connected – and the learning of the people before us – and the people before us who taught us – have been shaped by so many influences. This has in turn affected our processing, our perceptions of the world, and the way we view the reality that we live in.

Our class was introduced to a 135-year-old Teacher Training book called “A History of Education” by F.V.N. Painter. In the sections we were studying, some clearly racist ideas were presented. Detailed descriptions about how certain cultures were classified over others, including intelligence level and capacity, exist in these pages. Some of it is difficult to read. A lot has changed since 1886. But some of the ideas in this book persist in society today.

As we progress in our ECS 203 learning, we will become more aware of the layers of influence upon teachers and societies, as well as the progress towards change that has been made. Being a social justice advocate myself, I like to look to the bright side of progress and try to understand the darker parts of history as a way of making sense of the present.

Instead of thinking of students as “good” or “bad,” or classifying their behaviour as such, I strive to be an educator who embraces complexity, flexibility – one who can lean into the many “different ways of knowing and being” and help offer deeper learning opportunities as they present – whether that be in the bright daylight or in the hidden corners of life and students minds.

Reconciliation and the intersects of curriculum and pedagogy

I am working with the topic of reconciliation and exploring its intersections in curriculum and pedagogy.

As a caucasian person, and a descendant of white European settlers in North America, as well as a born-and-raised Yukoner and person of the North, this is a topic I care deeply about. In our ECS 203 class, we begin a quest into the understandings of depths, richness, history and complexities of curriculum and pedagogy. Understanding the ways of the past as it has been laid out before us is necessary. As a social-justice-oriented education student, and as a friend of many Indigenous people in the North, I wish to orient myself to both the past and present understanding of reconciliation as it associates with curriculum and pedagogy, specifically with a Northern focus. From a baseline theoretical understanding of past and present, visions for the future may be sparked and shaped. For as future educators, education policymakers, school counsellors, administrators – whatever our eventual role could be – I believe we hold such an important gift and humble power in our capacity to make a difference for change. “Reconciliation” is a term we hear often – in the cries of Indigenous people asking for more listening, more acknowledgement, more recognition, and more support. The ties within our education system are boundless: reconciliation and the education system are two deeply interwoven facets requiring meaningful attention and care. With a special focus on curriculum and pedagogy, we can continue to harness traction for change, as these deeply intersect into this movement and hold the key for powerful implications.

One of my big questions in doing this research is: “How is reconciliation incorporated into the curriculum?”

One of my big discoveries (when I first started researching this week), is the curriculum theorist William Pinar. He has written many influential curriculum books, articles, and founded curriculum journals. What is notable about his work is how (and when) it diverges from the Tyler Rationale. His work forms a significant part of the 1970’s Reconceptualist movement, an era in theoretical and applied education that continues to ripple through the Education system today. The concept of a system that requires continual evaluation, growth, and change, is at the heart of what it means to be a social-justice-oriented educator. One does not wish to sit and watch problematic patterns reoccur – instead one desires reflection, evaluation and change. These were some of the ways of thinking and action, that Reconceptualism sought to establish as an accepted regular practice provided within education.

Some of the big movements related to reconciliation in Canada are the Truth and Reconciliation Commission work and Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women Call to Action. Changes to curriculum, especially additions to history and social studies that include Indigenous histories, are movements of reconciliation. Increasing “First Nations Ways of Knowing and Being” among educators and in the classrooms by providing culturally shaped experiences is reconciliation in action.

Jumping forward into more recent reconciliation academia, I discovered an article by Aparna Mishra Tarc, discussing a topic known as Reparative Curriculum (2011). Some of the big themes of this topic include guiding students to learn to sit with the suffering others have endured as a way of trying to make peace with it. This will be one of my chosen articles for discussion in my research paper.

This article led me to other articles that discuss the differing viewpoints in the concept of “resolution.” I discovered that resolution can have varied meanings. It also seems to be an emotionally charged topic – how can it not be? From the article Truth, Reconciliation and Amnesia: Porcupines and China Dolls and the Canadian Conscience (2009) “While healing and reconciliation are desirable occurrences…these concepts can also entail a fixation upon resolution that is not only premature but problematic in its correlation with forgetting” (Martin, p. 49). The tension between staying with discomfort and passing through it quickly is affected by the overarching need to find some kind of resolution, with a seen-at-times confusion about the pathway. Are we in such a rush for resolve that we neglect to spend enough time just sitting with the discomfort involved with accepting the difficulties of the past?

The other valuable resource that I discovered is a textbook called Framing Peace: Thinking about and Enacting Curriculum as Radical Hope (2014). From this book, I would like to study the chapter by Ashley Pullman and Chris Nichols: “How to ‘Teach’ Peace to a Subject that is Continually in Crisis.” This chapter is of interest because it theorizes ways that educators can “illuminate problems of violence while providing strategies to address these concerns” (p. 29). This book also explores the concept of peace as a practice, rather than an endpoint. This would seem to me another perspective within the reconciliation framework. We are still in a time of violence within communities – for example, as discoveries about residential schools, and buried children continue to be uncovered. How do we move towards peace in the processing – the present and resounding impacts of this? This could also tie in with other research around incorporating mindfulness into the curriculum, but at some point this may begin to diverge from the original topic, so this may be better to hold this aside for other research work. 

Finally, I wish to search for practices that use cultural approaches to teach about reconciliation. This would be my next area to search for in my assignment. This would tie together my other research and work. I also noted, that in my research, the work of Judith Butler, a feminist scholar, was often referenced. I spent some time reading about her work and reflecting on how it may apply to future coursework. 

I am enjoying the process of researching and learning, and I look forward to putting more of the pieces together in the form of a written assignment. Incredible strides are made to introduce more Indigenous programming into the curriculum. However, as we look to the practices in the present, truthfully, educators and schools are oftentimes struggling and may face challenges in the actual delivery of this. Studying curriculum and pedagogy through the lens of reconciliation may provide insights into the complexities of the current climate in Indigenous education.

Theories of Curriculum and Pedagogy: An Exploration oF “Product”

Dani Kluane (me!) on the first day of Kindergarten at Whitehorse Elementary School, Yukon. From the beginning, we are taught to find our names, use our hooks and keep our belongings stored in the correct location.

Curriculum development from a traditionalist perspective is widely used across schools in Canada.

The Smith articles examine methods for organizing schooling – these include both theories and practices.

The dominant mode of managing education today is in the productive form – also defined as  “curriculum as a product.” -Smith, Curriculum Theory and Practice

What is it?

” Product – Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students.”  – Smith Reading

Examples:

-Curriculum that is pre-determined

-Clearly defined learning objectives and learning methods

-Technical, systematic, organized

-Categorical

-Leans towards a mechanistic way of viewing the learning process 

-Measurability is important

Think about…….

How have I experienced the Tyler Rationale in my own schooling?

There were stages of learning in each grade – For example – progressing through each level of math workbook each year and grade. Every year you start a new level and are expected to reach mastery of that level by the end of the school year ( as well as sometimes an introduction to the next level).

-Reading from staged learning literature, at the “expected” academic level e.g. vocabulary learning meets certain expectations.

-Social studies – pre-determined curriculum for each year of learning. (In my school years, we learned little about Indigenous histories in the North, although this is now changing).

-Learning and practicing patience – Waiting for the class to be finished their work together before we move on to the next stage -The class progressively moves through different stages together.

-Having a somewhat clear sense of expectations e.g. “this is the textbook we are learning from. This is the material you are expected to know and understand by the end of the school year.”

What are the limits of the Tyler rationale – and what does it make impossible?

-It does not consider that students learn at a different pace -It forces the teacher to pace the class according to the certain, predetermined stages of learning. There is less flexibility room for supporting individual growth and individual pacing.

This may present challenges for the learner who needs extra time and specialized attention to support their learning.

It may also create drawbacks for “quick learners” who grasp the material quickly, and they may become bored, disengaged, or even disruptive in the classroom. This can also create challenges with re-engaging this type of learner later on.

-There is less room for the teacher to be creative with the class.

-Children’s developing minds may have less space for expansive, creative growth in their thinking, as they are moved towards more focused, disciplined subject matters and ways of thinking, instead.

What are some of the potential benefits? What is made possible?

-Standardized.

-Testable learning outcomes; measurable.

-Ease of evaluation 

-Ease of creating structure and routine

More reflections…

Alternative schools have become more been rising in growth, in Yukon and elsewhere around Canada. One example is the ICount learning program for First Nation students in British Columbia. While cost is a barrier to attending, we may look to their models for inspiration. Montessori-inspired schools are structured to tailor learning to the individual person and follow their lead in moving through each stage of learning. Traditional school administrators and policy makes wising to move towards a more child-focused learning environment, and a less mechanistic one may benefit from reviewing the research-body on these school programs and incorporating more of their principles into traditional education.

As a Yukon Education student, I will begin to familiarize myself with the Yukon school curriculum and the dominant methods of teaching, as well as exploring alternative methods whenever possible.

“I would rather be in Nature” – Challenging Common Sense Ideology

Moose with twins on Blackstone River, Yukon, Canada. Photo by Tony Gonda.

How does Kumashiro define common sense?

Kumashiro notes that American teachers doing work in Vietnam were comforted and reassured from the beginning – that because they already had a “common sense understanding of teaching” from their years of experiences in America, they already knew how to teach in Vietnam”. In fact, they struggled to adapt to different rules and norms. Practices, that were taken for granted as “normal” there, were discovered to be different in Vietnam. These required time and attunement for the adaptation to new environments and norms. -The Problem of Common Sense

Why is it so important to pay attention to “common sense”?

-It means different things to different people

-Common sense: norms and standards – vary from place to place

-Making assumptions, without taking the time to ask questions or examine new environments first, can cause harm.

What commonsense understandings of curriculum and pedagogy do you bring with you into this course?

-Learning is standardized – In the Yukon, that means we follow the BC/Yukon Curriculum

-We follow a Fall to Summer school schedule – classes begin in the fall and go into early summer. 

-Time of class: Class begins in the morning, around 8:30 a.m. and ends in the middle of the afternoon, around 3 p.m.

-Learning tends to be grouped into subjects and usually scheduled into blocks of time e.g. 1-2 hours at a time. 

-Learning occurs in facilities – four-walled rooms, and big buildings: schools

-Classes tend to be 15-25 students

-Focus tends to be on the core disciplines such as English, Math, Social Studies and Science.

Further expanding on that…

-Increasingly, the Indigenous curriculum is being incorporated into Yukon classrooms.

-High school students are being taught about the history of residential school Alaska highway, and fur trade impacts over the last 200 years  –  and oppression of First Nations people in the North

-Children learn the First Nations languages in the schools and have the opportunity to attend various cultural activities.

First Nations “WAYS OF KNOWING AND BEING” are being increasingly incorporated into learning and into the classroom. Further, teachers and student teachers are given the opportunity to experience this way of thinking and seeing the world, but experiencing it for themselves, at places like culture camp, and through the wisdom and guidance of elders, teachers and the natural world.

My own values:

-Interdisciplinary learning

-Meeting standards but pushing the envelope

-Incorporating nature into the classroom

-Seeing and knowing each individual student, and also understanding the way the classroom functions as a whole

-Recognizing the deep and pervasive impacts that trauma has on learning, cognition and overall classroom experience, and taking steps to support wellbeing and community growth

-Creating opportunities for physical movement and exposure to fresh air and nature is imperative, and can be imported especially through multidisciplinary learning.

Barriers and Challenges

-Government requirements and standardization

Limits – Perhaps this is the biggest barrier to change of a system, but the need to keep order and organization within systems is pressing, it regulates the pace at which any kind of change can truly occur.

“Reinforcing certain ways of thinking, of identifying and of relating to others” includes ways that continue to feed into systems of oppression such as racism, sexism, ableism, colonialism, etc. -Kumashiro p. Xxxii

“As teachers, we are agents of social change.” - Dani Kluane

Kids Yoga: My last learning project post!

Well, what a journey this has been! I am thankful for the opportunities to grow, learn and evolve in yoga, with my children and in my knowledge of educational technology.

These are the goals I started out with for my project:

Goals:

  • To create my own digital resource folder of kids yoga activities.
  • Practice new yoga activities with my kids and friends at home
  • Record Practice Teaching Videos to share with EDTC 300 classmates
  • Create a Kids Yoga Channel on YouTube

Here is what I achieved:

  • I explored and shared many resources for kids yoga with classmates
  • As I began to work on my own guide, I created an outline, but I decided to leave it open for now… One of the things I realized is that in my own journey as a yoga teacher, I am still developing my own style of teaching yoga to kids. For me, part of this practice involves reflecting on how I might best support other educators to incorporate more movement work into their classes. I would like to eventually work as an Educational Consultant, and I imagine that yoga and movement work would fit into that!

I feel I need a few more years experience and practice (and perhaps another professional level training) to be ready to create the kind of guide I would truly like to create.

For now, I have the following outline to share – the topics I feel would be most important to include in my draft guide.

  • I was successful in recording and uploading some yoga practice videos with my kids: three videos in total!

I also learned:

  • I love video editing! At first, I felt daunted by the challenge. As I started to get into it, I realized it is not as hard as it looked at first glance. There are just different steps and processes to learn. The more I break it down, and figure out, the easier and more natural the process becomes. It’s already getting faster for me too!
  • Canva is the coolest program ever! I can’t wait to spend more time with it!
  • It is way harder to do yoga with your own kids than someone else’s kids!

Some of my challenges:

  • It would have been nice to organize a group of kids outside to do a kids yoga practice and record it – because of time constraints I was not able to do this. I am also hesitant to ask my friends about videoing their kids to put on the internet. It just feels outside of my comfort zone.
  • I was dealing with health issues that affected my breathing. Actually, the catalyst for the issues was connected to this project – I have been working on a wall at my house, to use as a background for shooting yoga films. My painter did some sanding for me – the sanding triggered my asthma – and had affected my ability to talk, laugh and sing (and teach yoga!) for several weeks. For this reason, I had to be flexible with my project, including the content and the focus of the project. I ended up spending more time on iMovie and learning to video edit than I initially planned as my goal. This worked out for though, as it is now something I am starting to feel passionate about as a new skill!
  • I can feel overwhelmed by all of the kids’ yoga content available on the internet. Sometimes it seems like everyone is just out to make money and it is impossible to know who to trust. There is lots of great content out there, but you have to hunt around for it. The discovery of Mercury Reader is helpful because at least it helps you cut out some of the advertisements when you are reading.

My yoga guide outline (I think this could turn into a book one day!):

Thanks to everyone for following along!

I am happy to help anyone anytime. Please feel free to reach out to me if you ever have any questions about kids yoga or trauma-informed yoga. Anytime!

Take care,

Dani

The Sun Shines on Everyone: Teaching Inclusion through Song and Kids Yoga

The Sun Shines on Everyone is a song by Snatam Kaur. It is often used in kids’ yoga practice. It is a nice song for adults to listen to as well. It contains a powerful message about inclusion.

“The sun shines on everyone – it doesn’t make choices. When it rains – it rains on everyone – it doesn’t make choices.” 

Teaching kids about inclusion: Let us just have love and acceptance of everyone. Of all of their beauty. Of all of their difficulties and differences too. Of course, life can be more complicated than this. But when we start with messages of inclusion, we lay an important foundation.

“The one spirit lives in everyone – it doesn’t make choices. It doesn’t make choices.”

We are all connected. As humans and beings of this earth. We are all worthy of being here.

“Peace to all. Love to all.”

Kids Yoga Practice

Options:

  • You could just put this song on and let your kids dance or have it play in the background.
  • You can use it as transition music in the classroom, as kids move from one activity to the next.

-You could experiment with a movement practice: adding yoga forms to the music. Feel free to get creative with this! My kids like to make up their own yoga forms!

“The sun shines on everyone”

“When it rains, it rains on everyone”

“The one spirit lives in everyone”

Bedtime or Restime Song

Options:

  • You could sing this song to or with your kids for quiet time or relaxation time.

I’ve taught my kids the words to this song and we like to sing it at bedtime now. 

  • I worked with an amazing Kindergarten teacher in my ECS 100 Practicum – she regularly incorporated quiet time/rest time for the kids into her class. She would play calming/relaxing music to them in the background. Yoga (and the use of this song and practices) could easily be incorporated into various resting practices in schools.
This video demonstrates some examples of the singing and calming practice I have been doing with my two young children at bedtime.

Sharing, Learning, Growing and Course Community

I really enjoyed getting to know my classmates through the online platform of EDTC 300.

During the COVID-19 Outbreak, we have all become more socially isolated. The opportunity to connect to classmates, even though it is over a computer, is a gift, and I have been grateful for these opportunities.

I made this video to summarize my learning experiences in the course.

Contributions to Course Community

Twitter

Joining Twitter was a learning curve for me! I felt hesitant at first. As a Yukon University YNTEP Student, I was aware that Twitter is a resource used by some of the Education Students. I felt intimidated, but ready to give it a try. I created a Twitter handle and bio. I discovered and followed classmates and people and pages of interest on Twitter. I discovered that there is a wealth of Education resources available on Twitter – this was a new discovery! I interacted with classmates, asking them questions, commenting on their posts, and responding to their questions on mine.

One of the things I could offer my classmates, is positive, encouraging and inspirational posts. I also tended to share news articles about the north, LBGTQ2S+, and general education topics, especially lists!

Tweeting about Inclusive Classrooms – A post with lists and visuals: my favourite! It was great to connect with classmates online about this important topic.
Providing suggestions and ideas for video-making apps to classmates on Twitter

Blog Posts – Others

I really liked reading the blog posts of my classmates. It was a great way to learn about people in the class and to feel connected with others.

I liked offering encouragement and support. 

Some of my favourite bloggers to follow were:

What I appreciated and valued about each of their projects were:

Linnette’s dedication and determination: despite some challenges and setbacks, she kept challenging herself to keep walking. She was not afraid to admit her shortcomings or difficulties. I also related to her, as a Mom, and knowing how much more challenging that can make things feel sometimes – you just have less time to fit everything in – self care and schoolwork included – because little people always come first. In the end, she was successful in accomplishing her goal of 10,000 steps!

Rosalie has been working really hard on her beading skills. She is really good at it! She has persisted in her learning, despite the challenges of needing to get instructed from her sister over the internet. Beading seems to be something that is much easier to learn when you have direct, in person support. Rosalie did not have that, as she is living in Yukon, and her sister is in their hometown of Paulatuk. Despite this, Rosalie persisted, and she was able to make beautiful earrings, experimenting with different types of patterns.

I could tell that Andrew was really set on improving his cooking skills – and I think he did really well! Not only did he learn to cook himself, he provided detailed instructions and insights that would help any beginning cook to get started and feel more confident in the kitchen. It was neat to watch how Andrew explored various elements of cooking, such as tool organization, list-making, and how to use a dishwasher. He also highlighted the benefits of family mealtime, which I thought was awesome!

Here are some of my comments:

As well as commenting on these student’s blogs, I also had a chance to visit the blogs of other classmates and share regular comments throughout the course.

Some of my interactions on other student’s blogs:

Blog Posts – My Blog

It felt meaningful to me to have other classmates take the time to read and comment on my blog. I appreciated hearing their comments and insights.

One of the conversations that felt the most important to me is about student mental health. Mental health affects everyone. Despite growing awareness, I believe there is still a lot of stigma. We need to keep having the important conversations. We need to keep normalizing mental health difficulties. Every conversation matters. I am glad I could contribute to this a little bit.

Interactions on my blog:

Discord

Students used Discord to ask questions, problem solve, and help each other.

I found it useful to download the App onto my phone so it was easily available.

Connections with other students

I did my best to keep up with other students’ posts and comments on twitter, although I must admit – with being a busy mom, and working three jobs – some days it felt like a challenge! 

Students in EDTC300 shared some amazing resources on Twitter and I liked reading some of the posts they made! I replied to comments, and made comments on other student’s posts. When I found a resource that I found helpful, I would retweet it and thank the other student for sharing.

I like to connect by offering thanks to others, and offering them messages of support and encouragement.

I observed how incredibly helpful and supportive everyone was of each other on Discord! Students were quick to jump on and answer each other’s questions, offering in-depth support and solutions whenever other’s needed. I felt that if I ever needed to ask a question, my classmates would be there for me to help.

Yoga Meditation for Education Students

As part of my learning, I became curious about the process of video editing. In practice for the longer work of editing videos of doing yoga with my kids, I decided to take on a more simple challenge of making a meditation video. I wanted to create a meditation that would be helpful for education students during times of stress or overwhelm. For me, this was another meaningful way of contributing to the class community.

Thank you for reading and for sharing the journey!

Until next time!

-Dani

VidCode: Creative Coding – End Plastic Pollution!

I have heard the term – coding – so many times. Mostly it seems to be used by kids and younger adults. So what is it?

According to Robo Wonderkind, coding is:

“Code is the language of the 21st century. It’s what tells our computers, apps, websites, software, and products what to do and how to do it. It’s giving a computer a set of instructions and functions, so it does what we want it to do. These instructions are also commonly known as ‘computer programming’, ‘software programming’, or ‘coding’.”

Source: https://www.robowunderkind.com/pages/coding-for-kids

Some of the benefits of coding for kids:

  • Problem solving skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Memory work
  • Development of computational thinking skills

I tried out Hour of Code

I chose a coding activity aimed at the grades 6+ level called “Plastic Pollution PSA”

Here is the finished product!

Every time you hit the button, the garbage moves over to a new location. This is possible because of the code I entered into the setup.

My reflections:

It was harder than I thought! I had to stay focused and remind myself to follow each step. Concentration is necessary for coding! It is also important to be able to follow directions clearly.

Why Every Child Should Learn to Code

Cool off-screen activity, that introduces coding:

Teach Your Kids to Code with a Deck of Cards

Here is a free google course for adults:

Understanding the Basics of Coding