What an amazing opportunities my students and myself had this week in regards to the national celebration of “The Hour of Code”! We started our journey of coding by watching President Barack Obama’s video. The video was well done and the message was clear, even to my 5 and 6 year old Kindergarten students.
We need opportunities to create and design ideas that we have in regards to our passions and interests. We need to be engaged and able to use a variety of digital tools to connect, inspire and challenge our thinking. When we are exposed and transparent in our thinking, then we open up paths for others to invest, engage and collaborate with us and our thinking. I am thinking that coding may be one way for this to happen.
We are in a world that is not only changing fast, but technology is really impacting our opportunities to connect and engage globally to solve common world problems as well as opportunities to use digital tools that enrich our lives. So coding is important and yes, even in Kindergarten it is clear that we need to offer opportunities for our students to learn code and how it can support their learning now and in the future.
Creating code is one way I can create opportunities for my students to create & problem solve through collaboration. We used an App called; “Daisy The Dinosaur” which was fun for my students because they were able to think critically and team together to solve a problem. Then when we visited our technology lab and teamed up with our learning buddies my students were able to practice that idea again of collaboration. Working in a team, 1 student navigates and the other is the driver. This is not a new idea for my students, it is just another learning opportunity where they can experience this type of collaboration using different tools.
My kindergarten students were able to write code and learn how to create directions to make something move! This was the immediate connection that my students made. A few of my students shared;”Mrs. D. when we make code we tell the computer what to do!” Thinking about this connection moving forward past this week I am thinking about other ways I can provide my students with opportunities to code.
I am new to the idea of code. The whole idea of coding was a little bit overwhelming to think about, but now, after this week of coding and being able to learn alongside my students it is not. As an educator of young children I need to find ways where students can connect and collaborate together to solve a problem. Coding supports this idea.
Reflecting about coding and why should I be coding and exploring this with my students?
Here is what I came up with….
1. use of high level vocabulary
2. collaboration, conversations in a face to face situation
3. risk taking and experience positive self confidence
4. learning “how to” give/follow a direction
5. setting goals
6. experiencing flexibility and adapting to a new situation involving critical thinking and problem solving
7. use of digital tools, their capabilities
8. experiencing digital citizenship
9. global opportunities, family engagement opportunities
10. It was really fun!
I am passionate about learning. I support innovation and creativity because we need to be able to use our creativity to connect and collaborate face to face, in our schools, homes and communities. Learning is for everyone and the technological tools available make it possible for everyone to share their voice.