Coding is the new literacy

Te Mihi team, we have been running a new initiative for the past two terms. Called interchange, it is run over a term. Each of the four teachers picks a subject they are interested in and design a fun, interactive and engaging. I have been looking at coding this term.

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Why do we teach coding?

This is a question I have been asked many times. My reply is why wouldn’t you. Coding is a language, we have all learned a quite complex language and we were not really aware of how we did it., English. English is one of the hardest languages to learn, mastery of English with all of the contradictions is very difficult. For example, there is no ham in hamburger. Neither is there any apple nor pine in pineapple. If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

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So if we can learn this language why can’t we learn to code? This is what the Ministry of Education says;

Why teach coding?

Students who have mastered coding can construct, hypothesise, explore, experiment, evaluate, and draw conclusions. 

Coding is an important and necessary future-focused literacy. It is included as part of the school curricula in many countries who recognise this.  (http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Teaching/Future-focused-learning/Coding)

During our interchange lessons, we have been working through a program called Hour of Code. It is a great introduction to coding using drag and drop blocks to make a program run. For more advanced students it allows them to use Javascript language. This is quite a common coding language and uses English as it’s base. So telling a computer to move an android forward looks like this. MoveForward(); All of these words and characters are recognisable to students. We are just learning a second language. 

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Here are some of our student’s reflections about learning to code? 

Javascript looks something like this, moveForward( ). It is easier to learn than English. Brooke.

I liked the Minecraft theme and I learned how to code using loops so I can code efficiently. Milly

Coding is Ike the best part of the day you learn how everything works in robots and in other things that art human parts. I have made it up to level 7. My most favourite part was feeding the dolphins. Chloe W

I have learnt that coding has some English and all sorts of languages. But today we did drag and drop coding. Which has codes like - turn left, turn right, move forward, repeat 3 times, repeat until you reach the goal. Chloe M

I will leave you with 5 reasons to teach our students to code.

Five reasons to teach coding

  1. Coding is a tool to improve educational equity.

  2. Coding offers inclusion.

  3. Coding can improve neuroplasticity.

  4. Coding improves Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) proficiencies.

  5. Coding is an important and necessary future-focused literacy.

Huerta, Edutopia

Here is the link if you want to have a go at home. Hour of Code.

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