Coding as a teacher?

First time I got in contact with coding/programming was at school (BASIC? I can’t even remember … ) early in the 90ties. It always interested me but for whatever reason I never got into it. Dad, why didn’t you buy me a computer? Just kidding. I became a primary school teacher – no programming at university or similar at that time at all. 2004 I got a second contact when I started working for a software company (Tcl, php … ) as a trainer for their software but I never really had to program. When I decided to go back to work as a teacher I was convinced that I will never get in contact with coding/programming again.

I was so wrong!

“I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer
because it teaches you how to think.”
— STEVE JOBS, THE LOST INTERVIEW

www.code.org

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First I read the following article (and so many more) few month ago: What 90% of Schools Don’t Teach and it makes it very clear: There will be a huge demand for programmer in future!  Therefore: Are Coders The Scribes of Our Time?  Interesting question as well. Do I teach the students to code? No. I could find excuses. Well, I never really learnt it. Well, I’m a language teacher. And so on. Not yet. One of my goals for the next school year probably will be to get into coding apps for the iPads for primary school students. So far I discovered a few apps:

Hopsctoch

Hopscotch allows kids to create their own games and animations. Kids unleash their creativity with this beautiful, easy-to-use visual programming language.

Kodable

Kodable is a free educational iPad game offering a kid-friendly introduction to programming concepts and problem solving. For kids ages 5 and up, and tools for grownups too!

Cargo-Bot

Cargo-Bot is a puzzle game where you teach a robot how to move crates. Sounds simple, right? Try it out!

Daisy the Dino

Learn the basics of computer programming with Daisy the Dinosaur! This free, fun app has an easy drag and drop interface that kids of all ages can use to animate Daisy to dance across the screen. Kids will intuitively grasp the basics of objects, sequencing, loops and events by solving this app’s challenges. After playing Daisy, kids can choose to download a kit to program their own computer game.

Bee-Bot

The new Bee-Bot App from TTS Group has been developed based on our well-loved, award-winning Bee-Bot floor robot. The app makes use of Bee-Bot’s keypad functionality and enables children to improve their skills in directional language and programming through sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns.

Cato’s Hike

“Who says that computer programming should only be left to the adults?… although Cato’s Hike is geared towards children, it can definitely unlock the little programmer in all of us.” — AppAdvice

Move The Turtle

Move The Turtle is an educational application for iPhone and iPad that teaches children the basics of creating computer programs, using intuitive graphic commands.

 

And I just found www.kidsruby.com … So good that I’m on vacation at the moment …

Anybody any experiences with those apps? Which one do you prefer and why?

The second contact I got very recently is Google Apps Scripts.

Google Apps Script is a JavaScript cloud scripting language that provides easy ways to automate tasks across Google products and third party services and build web applications.

It’s seems to be amazing what is possible and how much effort people put into the programming and then sharing it for free so everybody (every teacher) can use it.

I wish I would have learnt programming/coding on a deeper level. The apps will be a good start to get into it and let’s see where the journey will bring me. It is never too late, right?

Have you ever thought that you will code as a teacher?

 

6 thoughts on “Coding as a teacher?

  1. Anne

    I am so with you- the possibilities for coding in K-12 are endless! I teach secondary math and often find myself ranting about how we teach logical reasoning through mathematical proofs when we should be teaching it through programming.

    I haven’t used the programs you listed, but I have used Scratch, which free through MIT. It’s a great program with tons of resources from other teachers available online. It’s a good platform because it uses the same structure and vocabulary that real hardcore programs use, so the kids are prepared to move on to C++ or whatever else after they get comfortable in Scratch. I’d recommend checking it out if you have the time and the energy (those two simple things we could all use more of…)

    Reply
  2. Verena Zimmer Post author

    WOW …

    Stephen Hawking
    Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, and Author
    “Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you just want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn.“ http://www.code.org

    Reply
  3. Heather

    Hi Verena,
    Thanks for sharing the list. This year I started working on Kodu, which is a free download from Microsoft. It is available for PC’s, and teaches visual programming skills to create a game. I thought it was fantastic!
    Heather

    Reply
    1. Verena Zimmer Post author

      Thanks Heather … I’m not working with Windows anymore … I even don’t know where I could check it. 😉 Maybe somebody else who is reading this post. Thanks!

      Reply

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