What I Learned in #HourofCode

12/28/2015 12:10:00 AM



A week ago, I didn’t think I knew anything about code. I could handle HTML and tinker with javascript, but my technology interests have always been in classroom implementation. So for me, #HourofCode is a new experience, and one that I had sort of turned a blind eye towards before. I knew the big idea--introduce students to coding and computer science in a fun and accessible way, but hasn’t been a part of it before. While I recognize that coding could be meaningful in my English classroom, it was never a priority for me, and I simply didn’t think I had the time. 

One of my goals this year is to try new things and step out of my technological comfort zone. I want to learn more about STEM, coding, maker spaces, and everything else in our ever-growing field of edtech, both for me and for my students. So this year, when two of my colleagues in the math department offered to help facilitate lessons, I jumped right in. And it was great. 

Two of my classes learned about coding and practiced with the code.org tutorials, mastering Minecraft, Star Wars, and Frozen themed coding challenges. A third practiced 3D design with Tinkercad, creating caricatures of their favorite literary character. Using a template of a human body silhouette, they learned to add shapes, features, and colors with some basic 3D design. I was amazed at how much they already knew, how much they accomplished so quickly, and how much fun it all was. In one class, I was challenged by students and coded, too, building a galaxy with Star Wars javascript coding



Not only was it fun, but I had some important takeaways from the experience:

What I Learned in #HourofCode

1. Students already know coding.


I was astonished at how many of my students knew how to build javascript codes and master these coding challenges. Many had some experience with Minecraft or other coding, and those that didn’t jumped right in. Code.org did a great job scaffolding for all students.

 


2. Coding is a Gateway to #FutureReady


My colleague, Mr. Goldberg, shared surprising facts about coding and computer science with us, and I explored further at code.org. I found the graphic below along with this statistic: there will be one billion computing job openings by 2022---around double the jobs available right now. We often talk about what it means to make out students #futureready, about the types of jobs they will have that don’t yet exists, and about the classrooms of tomorrow. I didn’t realize how much of an opportunity #HourofCode was to help prepare students or interest them in one possible future.

 



3. Coding is Fun!


I’ve always enjoyed codes, math, HTML, and logic. But I was amazed at how much fun all of #HourofCode exercises we explored were. Many reminded me of the old-school Mario games of my childhood, where you move the character in four directions to achieve a task, only now you are writing or dragging and dropping blocks of code to make that direction come to life. In so many ways it was like building a video game--a connection I hadn’t made before. The students seemed to really enjoy it, and although I loved watching them explore, I had even more fun playing and coding myself.

4. Coding is for Everyone


From the geeks who shall inherit the world to NBA stars or from high school seniors to elementary students, anyone can code. I was so impressed by the variety of activities I found on code.org, the ages they appealed to, and the creativity I saw from my PLN online. Below is a video and Tweet from a colleague at the middle school, and it was great to see #HourofCode embraced throughout my district, and to experience it as shared learning throughout the year.

Looking Forward


This day really opened my eyes; I can see such great applications for my students just in the few activities we explored: Storyboarding in Tinkercad. Depicting characters from textual evidence. Convey elements of plot by building a Star Wars universe. Exploring shapes through the Frozen ice skating challenge. These fun, easy, and intuitive exercises could have big gains in teaching students #futureready skills and in bringing a different side of technology into my classroom.

 

I had a blast with the #HourofCode and would love to hear how you implemented it into your schools or classrooms.


cross posted at www.aschoenbart.com

Adam Schoenbart is a high school English teacher, Google Education Trainer, and EdD candidate in Educational Leadership. He teaches grades 10-12 in a 1:1 Chromebook classroom at Ossining High School in Westchester County, NY and received the 2014 LHRIC Teacher Pioneer Award for innovative uses of technology that change teaching and learning. Read more at The SchoenBlog and connect on Twitter @MrSchoenbart.

comments powered by Disqus

Kajeet Enhances Sentinel® Platform to Prepare for Explosive Online Learning Growth

Latest Upgrade Supports Advanced Reporting, Improved Filters as Distri...

Pocomoke City Educator Michael Browne Honored as 2017 Maryland National Distinguished Principal

Mentoring Minds Partners with Maryland Principals Association to Recog...

Utah State Evaluation Report Validates Literacy Gains For Students Using Lexia Reading Core5

External Evaluators Also Find Lexia’s Blended Learning Program t...

Schoology Expands Partner Ecosystem With BrainPOP Integration

NEW YORK (March 22, 2017) – Schoology, Inc., the leader in learn...

EPS Instruction and Intervention Earns Finalist Honors in 2017 EdTech Digest Awards

Research-Based Intervention Program, iSPIRE TM, Recognized as a “...

Measured Progress introduces eMPower Assessments

DOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE—March 21, 2017—Measured Progress, Inc...

Second Avenue Learning Welcomes Director of Research and Learning Design

Rochester, N.Y. (March 21, 2017) – Second Avenue Learning, a lea...

VariQuest Combines STEM Curriculum and 3D Printing for the K-12 Market at the ASCD Empower17 Conference

With new CREATE Packages, educators now have access to a powerful suit...

T&L Partner Post
Tweets
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...