For this weeks blog post, our last regular blog post, we were asked to either do an Hour of Code or to code a short Scratch project. I decided to go ahead with the Hour of Code and I all I can say is I had a lot of fun with it, which shocked me because I honestly thought I wouldn’t.
Coding is defined as being, “the process or activity of writing computer programs” according to the Oxford Dictionary. Before the EDTC 300 class, when I heard the term coding, I just assumed it was something that adults do to control a robot that might build something or whatever. Little did I know that there was so much more to it that could benefit my students as a future teacher.
Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Codes
When I first went to the Hour of Code website, I was overwhelmed with all of the different options that were available to choose from. After scrolling through I chose the Star Wars: Building a Galaxy. You could choose anything from making your own Flappy Bird game, Minecraft, Frozen, and even Barbie.
My prior knowledge of coding was brief up until this class and continued to grow as I got to experience a little bit of it first hand. I soon realized how useful and important it can be. As I continued exploring and doing the Star Wars coding, their are so many important aspects to each one that can touch on many things in the curriculum for each age category.
The first thing that popped up when I clicked on the Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Codes was a big work space board, controls options, the code board as well as the levels and a couple other things like you see below. Once it read out the instructions to me. I began lining up the code directions below the orange, “when run.” You must think and plan out the road ahead for the little robot so that he can get the scrap metal.
Once you have the codes lined up with the correct instruction to get the metal, you press the orange button that says “run” and see if you coded it correctly. If you did, it will say so and let you move onto the next level, if not, you have to re-code and try again.
As you continue to pass levels, the harder the levels get, the more codes are added. Each time a new code is added, a new way of thinking is required which is why it is great for children as they tend you have many thinking processes.
Once you have finished the levels, I had the option of taking all of the codes that I used throughout and to create whatever I wanted at the end. It was almost “free time” as you could try new things and create different combinations at the end. I believe that this is an important aspect to lots of things as it is a great reward for children. Allowing this gives them free range to create whatever but is also ensuring that they are thinking.
Another reward for completing it is a certificate. Knowing that you are getting something out of it in the end makes it more engaging to children and makes them want to do it more!
In the end, I believe coding is important to incorporate in the students curriculum up until at least middle years, if not up until twelve grade. Thank you for tuning into this weeks blog post!
See you soon.