This week I tried out the website, Code, specifically their “Hour of Code”. This is a website for students to dip their feet into the world of coding. There are lots of different games under the section “Hour of Code”. I chose the “Dance Party”. The only coding that I have done first-hand (from what I remember) was in grade nine when we had to program a little car to turn, stop, and the stop lights and turning lights had to turn on and off. I don’t remember much from that class honestly, so this was a great re-introduction. It was super easy and fun to use. Something I enjoyed was that they had videos along the learning journey of different people that were involved with this organization or coding in general. The person talked about their job and how it relates to this game. As I went along playing this game, they showed new and more complicated types of codes. As the codes were added these people would explain what the new feature was and how it worked. I have a screenshot below of this lady explaining what “Events” were in the game:
In one of the videos this guy was explaining how dancers learn their moves according to the beat and measures. So, in the game you can add a code that says “the dancer does ‘blank’ after ‘blank’ measures”. This was a super cool relation and I think students would love to hear about it.
Although it was a pretty straightforward game, I did slip up a few times. For example, certain codes that say “when this happens” have to be put first before you add a code that says “this happens”. I realized this when (as shown in my screenshot below) I tried to get my dancers to do something, but the blocks color wasn’t as strong as usual, so I knew something was wrong. I actually ran it and saw that that code didn’t happen so I tried to problem solve. I realized that I had to put one of those green blocks (that you can see on the left side) before this code. Sure enough when I put that on, it went back to its bright colors as it was supposed to.
So, I bet you’re wondering “what do one of these dances look like?!”. Well lucky for you I made a video below of a dance I made at the very end:
I really enjoyed this website and think it’s a great thing for students to experience. Coding is important as it controls so many aspects of our lives. Even if students have a small amount of knowledge on how it works, at least they can have an idea of what it is when it’s brought up in a conversation. For example, I feel like it’s been the last few years that it has become wide-spread knowledge that social media platforms are coded to try to get you on their platform and getting you to use it more and more and more. It blew my mind when I heard this and I didn’t have much knowledge on coding so I was confused as to how they could do that. So, if students get educated on it at a young age, they will hopefully have a better understanding of large-scale issues like that.