Monday, January 4, 2016

Create With Code

Middle School girls Creating With Code at
Girls Make It Day
You Can Do IT TOO!
I'm pretty excited about teaching a new course I'll be teaching at Marlboro (totally online) for educators who want to go beyond an hour of code.  If getting more confident with coding is one of your New Year's resolutions,  why not join others and do it together (as well as get college credit for it).

Here is the description - along with some notes answering inquiries about the course:

January 8 - April 16, 2016

The course is for elementary to high school educators with little to no experience programming, who want to learn enough about code to use it in their teaching. The information age, and activities such as Hour of Code, have revealed the importance of understanding basic programming in today's world. Students and educators are excited about learning to code and coding is finding its way into students' Personal Learning Plans. This course will give you the confidence to understand student's personal learning projects that may involve creating with code. It will also provide you with ideas for integrating basic coding into a variety of curriculum areas. Whether you decide to build a separate coding class, or integrate coding into your content area, this course will get you started using both graphical and text based coding platforms. We will combine graphical coding platforms (like Scratch/Blockly/SNAP) and Arduino's text based environment to 1: Create digital stories and games with code 2: Control physical objects with code. and 3: Examine ways to integrate coding and computational thinking into your learning environment. Participants will need access to an Arduino based microprocessor and one physical object that can be controlled by coding. These may be purchased, or borrowed via an optional $50 lab fee.

I have had several email inquiries about the specifics of this course,  so I thought I'd share my last email response to those inquiries in case it might help you decide if this is the type of course for you or one of your colleagues.

This is an online class.  WE will mostly be working asynchronously so you can work on it at your convenience, but there might be a few collaborative projects or options for synchronous Hangouts as schedules permits.

It will be very hands on and will introduce educators who have Little to NO coding experience to coding so they can  grow their confidence in Creating with Code and make better decisions about ways to integrate coding in their classroom.

We will be learning thinking routines and algorithms  that are key to success with coding and problem solving.  Computational thinking is not limited to coding and these routines align to both Common Core and Math standards of practice along with Next Gen standards.

We'll take a deeper look at what GROWTH mindset really means and how Coding can be used to develop a TRUE growth mindset.

We will be completing exercises that are available through many of the different coding curriculums along with other opportunities to determine which ones are best suited for your classroom based on grade level, content area, and goals. 

We will even be coding physical objects and exploring  pedagogical approaches that are researched based on the use of coding physical objects to help children learn and  develop creativity, problem solving, computational thinking, etc.

The class is NOT intended for those who want to become coders in industry but instead targets teachers who want to move beyond an hour of code.

Questions about cost of physical objects: Cost range from $30 - a few hundred dollars based on the objects.  Some schools may already have some of these objects.  I will have some for loan and will also introduce you to organizations that have a whole classroom set for loan.  

How much time per week?  That depends a lot on your learning style. 
Marlboro College along with other colleges have standards for academic rigor that are required by their collegiate certifications.  We will meet those.  

Yes, there will be readings and discussions  to help you make sound decisions about integrating coding in the classroom.   We will even do some virtual classroom visits.

Some of you may have some prior experience, others no prior experience.  NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE  is needed and the weekly lessons will be structured so that you can 'grow'  from your entry point.  If you do have prior experience, you will be encouraged to grow your skills using a variety of online resources.  As adult learners... you will be asked to gauge how much time you spend on problem solving if you encounter difficulty.  Hopefully you will encounter challenges that help you grow as a learner.  But there will be resources to help you so you don't stay stuck, and instead learn how to access resources that will GROW YOUR CONFIDENCE with code