Monthly Archives: December 2014

Coding and Computer Science Education Week…A beginning

What a Great Week to Introduce “Coding”!


With the support of many notables (Obama, Bosh, Kutcher, Mayer, Wojcicki) “Computer Science Education Week and Coding” has gained popularity and the push to have children experience it has also grown.

An article posted last May,

Screenshot 2014-12-10 14.37.49

http://nyti.ms/1hEqltN discussed the “coding” movement in education and how the opportunity to experience “it” is important so the current generation of learners are not left with being exposed to something that could open doors in the future.

What is coding?

The CSED group says,

“Computer science is the art of blending human ideas and digital tools to increase our power. Computer scientists work in so many different areas: writing apps for phones, curing diseases, creating animated movies, working on social media, building robots that explore other planets and so much more.”CSED

At Countryside Village Public School we started off simple by participating in “Computer Science Education Week“.  This exposed the children to the basics of computer programming.  Most of the programming was basic visual programming where they learned to give an object instructions to complete a given set of actions.

The following are the APPS and sites the students have the opportunity to explore during our “coding sessions”,

The APPS

Daisy the Dino – Cost (Free) – iPad Only – Grade(s) – (1 through 3)

Daisy the Dinosaur by Hopscotch Technologies introduces children to basic computer programming. A challenge mode tutorial shows how to make the dinosaur move, jump, shrink and grow using drag and drop instructions. Without explicitly using the terms, it demonstrates looping and conditional programming. But for children playing with this free app, it’s all about making a cute green dinosaur move at your command. In the free play mode, users can design their own programs for Daisy. – More Info

Scratch Jr. – Peel District School Board ITRT Jim Cash shares a introduction to ScratchJr.

Kodable – Cost (Free) – iPad Only – Grade (s) Ages 5 and up

Kodable teaches kids the basics of any programming language in a fun game! Completely self-guided.  Teacher trackable.

Lightbot – Cost (Free Hour of Code Edition) – iPad, Android, Windows, Flash-based on Web – Grade 1+

Lightbot is a programming puzzle game. This means that at its core, it is a puzzle game, but its
game mechanics lend themselves to actually having a one-to-one relationship with
programming concepts.

Hopscotch – Cost (Free) – iPad Only – Grade 3+

Programming made easy.  No typing. No syntax errors. Just drag and drop blocks. Hopscotch is an intuitive, friendly programming interface designed for everyone.

Tynker – Cost (Free) – iPad, Android, Web – Grade 2+

Tynker’s creative computing platform helps children develop computational thinking and programming skills in a fun, intuitive and imaginative way. Our innovative visual programming language, interactive self-paced courses, and game-based programming activities provide an easy introduction to programming, and empower children to innovate and create.

More @ http://www.tynker.com/about/

Cargo-bot – Cost (Free) – iPad Only – Grade 2+

A puzzle game where instruction program a robot to move boxes. Cargo-Bot is the first game on the App Store developed using Codea, an iPad app for rapidly creating games and simulations.  It gives students the opportunity to understand that a set of instructions need to be given in order for actions to be performed.

The Sites

Code.org

Codecademy’s – Hour of Code 

Tynker’s – Hour of Code

Lightbot’s – Hour of Code

MIT’s Scratch – Hour of Code

RoboMind Academy’s – Hour of Code

Our “coding” week was a great success.  More than 30 kids explored computer programming at various levels for nearly 5 hours in total.  It was a great kick start for our “coding club” that will begin in the new year.

Related Articles

http://techland.time.com/2012/07/16/can-we-fix-computer-science-education-in-america/

http://code.org/files/Code.orgOverview.pdf

http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2013/02/14/can-obama-convince-high-schools-to-teach-kids-to-code/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/coding-classes-designed-to-create-future-entrepreneurs-1.2864464

 

 

 

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