One tech advocate thinks ‘coding is the new writing’ — this grand statement could hold several grains of truth.
"People assume that you have to have the 3Rs [reading, writing and arithmetic] before you get to what I call the 3Xs: exploration, exchange and expression,” Idit Harel said. “But that’s not the case.”
Harel said she knew this through her experience with Globaloria, which she founded. The firm gets children to play computer games before showing them how to begin modifying the game — for example changing the colours on their character — using computer code. Often the kids can’t read well, if at all, Harel explained, but they get engrossed in tinkering with the game world and, in the process, they begin to pick up more traditional literacy, too.
Although one of the earliest applications of Logo involved the robot turtle, the advent of personal computers had moved the programming language from the floor to the screen. Lego Logo, a project developed by Mitch Resnick and Steve Ocko, moved programming back out again, into the physical world – but with some key differences, least of which being that children got to design their own machines, not simply use the pre-made turtle.
Every day we’re thinking about how to integrate learning and play with our robots into a single user experience. As we get deeper into building our software application, we want to share what children will be learning from our robots. … Continue reading →
I 'scooped' this a couple of years ago, but I notice now that quite a few universities are following suit (such as Monash Uni in Melbourne). An interesting unit in first year at Maynooth is Philosophy. I would encourage all Computer Science/Science/Engineering students to do a unit in Philosophy and/or Cognitive Science.
"There has been a proliferation of online classes and resources for learning coding over the last couple of years. With all that’s out there, one might think there’s no need for a Computer Science teacher or program in schools anymore. However, I’ve found many of these resources can be great tools for teachers, both for professional development and for the classroom. The four resources below are ones I’ve had great success with over the last couple of years."
Much of the discussion around ‘learning to code’ is couched in futuristic terms. By learning to code, we are told, young people will be equipped to become the innovators, tech entrepreneurs and civic leaders of the future.
Dig-It! developer Jessica Dommes stands over a group of middle-school girls as they tap and swipe eagerly at an iPad; she often stops them to ask about the features of the game they were playing. Questions range from what the girls like and don’t like to whether they feel buttons are in the right p
Paul Herring's insight:
“Programming is such a broad skill set,” said Dommes, citing the variety of ways that programmers add value to popular and everyday programs, from “programming the rover on Mars” to “supporting the social media that we use on a daily basis.”
By using the programming interface Choreographe, students can create a program to make NAO dance. The interface uses a simple drag-and-drop system that does not require coding knowledge and is a great introduction for students. However, students can also input their own 'python' code if they have the ability.
This workshop is an introduction to Choreographe so you teachers can enter student teams in this competition.
Back in July, one of EdSurge's coding-themed articles went viral. It told the story of the genesis of Google's CS First initiative--a program designed by a team of educators and computer scientists to get students interested in coding through afterschool and summer programs, but at a very low cost.
Paul Herring's insight:
"As of March 20, the number of students engaging in CS First clubs has hit the 27,000 mark across five continents--70% of which are females and/or minorities."
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