Free App Integrates Coding Into Classroom Instruction

6/27/2017 6:07:00 PM

Despite the high demand for tech-savvy workers, the majority of US high schools do not offer a computer science (CS) course. 

Teachers are using CodeSnaps, a no-cost app from the makers of Curriculum Pathways®, to integrate CS concepts into other subjects. CodeSnaps teaches coding basics by enticing students to actively work together, hands-on, to control Sphero, an app-enabled robotic ball that students command using code and an iPad®.

Sean Russell, a fifth-grade math and science teacher in North Carolina, integrates coding into instruction on a regular basis, exposing his students to the principles of programming while also helping them meet math and science standards. Russell uses CodeSnaps to teach fractions and advanced math concepts like parabolas. He also had the students navigate Sphero through a giant image of the digestive system.

How does CodeSnaps work?

As budget-strapped schools and districts struggle to implement relevant CS coursework, CodeSnaps can be used in any learning environment, including traditional and blended classrooms, 1-to-1 or at home. The collaborative coding activity requires only one Sphero robot and one tablet.

Students prepare programs together using printed paper blocks. The blocks represent pieces of code, which students “snap” together in a certain order to create programs to control the Sphero. They then scan the assembled blocks using the app and run the program, which the Sphero executes.

CodeSnaps is available for iPad through the App Store®. Interested users can also download the app from the CodeSnaps website, where they can view tutorials, print code blocks and find ready-to-go lesson plans.

CodeSnaps and Curriculum Pathways® at ISTE 2017

CodeSnaps will be on display at Booth 300 at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference (ISTE 2017), along with Curriculum Pathways Writing Reviser.


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