Do you play video games, use computer programs, or have a phone or camera? Do you know that someone wrote (coded) a series of instructions to make those amazing technologies work? Did you know that you could do it too? It doesn’t take a genius. In fact, if you can read and write then you too could be writing code for a game, video, animation or a robot.
Why should you or your students learn to write code? Just about anyone you talk to who knows how to program will tell you that it is mostly about problem solving and being creative. They’ll also tell you that anyone can learn it. You don’t have to be a genius and you don’t have to be a “nerd.” My take away is that, I can be “cool” and I can practice problem solving! (By the way, I need work in both of those areas.)
I have three steps to get you and your students on the way to coding:
1. Watch this video to get inspired. “What Most Schools Don’t Teach”.
2. Start learning how to use different programing languages by visiting one of these sites.
- CodeAcademy – Join me here. I am starting a learning track to understand Python language. (Mostly because I want to write for the NAO robot)
- Code.org – A non-profit organization dedicated to computer programing education. They have links to many resources.
- LearnPython.org – An interactive tutorial for learning Python language.
- Scratch – Kid Friendly and widely used.
- Alice – 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web
- Ask a friend. You probably know one person that knows some programming language. Ask them to help you.
3. Put it in your students’ hands. Give them time to explore and there’s no telling what they will think of.