Wednesday, December 10, 2014

#hourofcode Everyone Wins

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See yesterday's post for more information on "Hour of Code." 

Today students in grades five, six, seven, and eight completed our Hour Of Code. There could have been tech trouble. We had a back-up plan. There was some confusion. We know how to collaborate to solve the problems. Because we are persistent; we don’t give up. We have a mindset of “I can.”

Hadi Partovi is the founder of Hour of Code. One of the obstacles to improving education is mindset. Learning computer science needs a new mindset: we can, and we did! Watch this CBS interview in an Hour of Code Classroom to see what Hadi Partovi says:
 It's a mindset that Computer Science is hard.

But we did it. Every student was a winner, a successful coder to make that Angry Bird get that pig. Every student was a reader too -- reading the puzzle and debugging directions. Every student was collaborator -- offering assistance to each other so we could all succeed.

And every student said, "This is fun," not "This is hard." They are ready for more, and many responded with, "I'm doing this at home."

So think about it. There’s so much noise in the eduverse about transforming education so students are “college and career ready.” The students need to be prepared for their future — and that means an understanding of the workings of the devices and apps they use daily: computer science — code. Just one thing could do it: allow our students to be makers in the world; coders of the future -- as part of their literacy class.

Why? I watched today as everyone read. Everyone.  On their own. Wanting to read. And afterwards, they wrote about their experience. No complaints. MIT's Mitchel Resnik says
In the process of learning to code, people learn many other things. They are not just learning to code, they are coding to learn. In addition to learning mathematical and computational ideas (such as variables and conditionals), they are also learning strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas. These skills useful not just for computer scientists but for everyone, regardless of age, background, interests, or occupation.
Our kids wrote about their learning, and here are some of their reflections- their first thoughts about coding and coding to learn:
Coding is like solving a puzzle because it always has a new layout and as you advance it becomes more challenging, like if you move from a 500 piece puzzle to a 1000 piece.
Behind every click or swipe or touch on my phone is code.
I learned that code is very easy once you understand it, it exercises parts of your mind in a fun way, it opens up a new and faster way for finding answers.
Vocabulary words to know for coding: Repeat; The computer will repeat the command until you reach your destination.
 I liked how it challenged my way of thinking
 I learned coding is like playing a game because you have to use signals to turn left,right, and move forward.
Coding is like using commands to move forward or turn left or right because the codes are about commands
Coding is like…math because it takes time to get the problem done.
Behind every click or swipe or touch is…a code.
I learned that…coding is hard because you don't know what the code will be until you try.
Coding is like a puzzle because you have to figure out the code to pass the level and it does involve thinking.
Behind every click or swipe or touch on our devices is just commanding the game and controlling the device.
 You have to be precise.
I like that we get to understand coding and get to learn about computer science and you can use it in the future. 
Coding is like reading a book because the codes mean a different word.
I liked the way the web site challenges your brain.
I learned that coding looks complicated but it is not hard.
And, they want to continue at home --- reading directions and writing code.

So yes-- today, we took our first step in our middle school. We have a mindset of curiosity. We were anxious, and expectant. We were unsure, and hopeful. We were confused, but open. We. Were. Ready. We — a class together, and a learning community ready to understand the code behind the devices we use every day: computers, smart phones, tablets, apps, Facebook! And the code behind the things that help us in our lives: planetary rovers, medical devices, monitors, etc.

So what are you waiting for?  Try it: Hour of Code Part One You'll be a winner too!

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Please remember this is a family and school related site. Please post and comment appropriately. Please contact Ms Edwards if you have any questions or to report any inappropriate activity. Thank you. sheri at nsdeagles dot org