Coding. It is literally like learning another language. At least for me anyway. It is just not my forte to say the least!
Before trying to learn this new language of coding, I visited an ‘Hour to Code‘ site, as well as a site called ‘Scratch‘. Both of these sites are meant for students (yes, students!) to get an introduction into how to code. After briefly looking over both sites, I decided on Scratch because you actually got to create your own program versus playing agame that mimics a program. From first glance, I would say that ‘Hour to Code’ would be best for beginners (elementary students) and that Scratch would be better once you have a bit more coding knowledge (which I do not!).
My adventure with Scratch had be jumping in head first into the deep end thinking I could swim because a took a unviersity class about coding 6 years ago. WRONG! It was much mroe difficult than I thought it would be and it took a lot of trial and error to produce the simplest programs/tasks. I actually looked up a “helpfulp” tutorial, but became even more frustrated when I realized the person who made it, made it using scratch! Like who was this genius! They created a whole “how to” video using a program that I could barely complete the simplest tasks on. Needless to say my pride got the best of me and I exited out of the tutorial and was determined to figure it out on my own! In hindsight it probably was not my best decision, but i stuck with it!
some things I quickly learned on Scratch was that I could create my own background with a ‘paint-like’ tool and that there was a full library full of many different sounds. I had way too much fun just making funky backgrounds (that I didn’t use) and listening to all of the cool sounds (which I also didn’t use). It is obvious that I can become sidetracked quite easily, especially if the thing i am being sidetracked from in CODING!
But in all seriousness, I think this is a great program. I think it does a great job mimicing how one would create a ‘real’ code, with ‘if, then, else statements’ and ‘forever loops’, as well as a bunch of other things I am not quite sure how to use. In addition to that, creating this type of code would be a great tool for inquiry based learning. You could simply show students this site, maybe give them a brief example (as Katia did) and then let them loose on it. I think some students would create amazing things with it, and others would struggle like I did. No matter what the skill level, I think this type of activity would definitely help all students with their problem solving skills, plus it is something they could work on at home and see real results regarding their progress. Coding in the classroom definitely gets two thumbs up from me!
Now for my not so amazing coidng video: