Introduction to Coding 4 Educators

Coding - Hello World
Photo by Kobu Agency on Unsplash

I have put together some resources for K-12 educators to help them learn to code themselves (if they don’t yet have coding experience) as well as provide resources for all educators to use as they introduce coding and computation thinking to their learners.

I hope that we can think of ways to integrate coding activities in other subject areas outside of math and science. Subject areas like art, music, language arts, logic, environmental studies, etc.

Here are some helpful learning to code resources:

  • Scratch: A graphical and gentle introduction to coding that gives learners immediate visual feedback from the very beginning. Great for younger learners or those who might be intimidated by coding with text. While Scratch can be used to develop interesting visual projects, it is not designed for use with databases or mobile phone apps. Here are some resources to get started with Scratch:
  • Grasshopper: Is an excellent coding course for beginners that uses textual coding (with significant supports) to teach coding principles using the Javascript language. Javascript is primarily a web browser-based language, however, it is being used in server-side web frameworks to access databases and code more “business” like applications. Grasshopper is a gentle introduction to coding that looks more like what real-world programmers use (compared to Scratch).
  • Hour of Code: The hour of code has hundreds of projects for students to work on, running on a variety of platforms (including Hour of Code, Scratch and Google Code). You can filter your view of hour of code projects based on grades and skill levels. Most projects include a “Teacher notes” or lesson plan page to help instructors lead their class. The quality of projects is somewhat uneven, so you would definitely want to work through a project on your own before you introduce it to your class. Languages used for different projects include: Scratch, Python, Javascript, HTML, & CSS.
  • Designing with algorithms using TinkerCad: Using an Easy to use, Scratch like interface, you can create your own shape or design using TinkerCad and then use visual code blocks to copy, rotate and move your design.
  • Code BC: Has a great web-based workshop on Computational Thinking. Computer Using Educators of BC (CUEBC) hosts a yearly conference that brings together 500+ K-12 teachers from across BC. You do not need to be a technology specialist to be a part of CUEBC. Any teacher interested in the purposeful and beneficial integration of technology into their practice can be a CUEBC member. We support teachers throughout the year through extensive outreach work, consultation, professional development, and inquiry projects.

16 comments

  1. […] Rich McCue introduced us to Scratch, Grasshopper, and Hour of Code.  I tried all three, but the one I really enjoyed was Dance Party 2019 from Hour of Code. It’s a fun activity where you follow instructions and place prewritten code in patterns and pick a song and characters such as a sloth, cat, unicorn, or bear and watch them dance to the music. The dance moves they perform are dictated by the code you arrange.  This was so fun; I know I’m going to keep playing to see what new songs and dance moves appear as I move up the levels. […]

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