5 novel examples of coding in the classroom

5 novel examples of coding in the classroom

March 31, 2024

coding in classroom
coding in classroom
coding in classroom

In today's digital age, coding has evolved from being a specialized skill to a fundamental form of literacy. With technology deeply integrated into every aspect of society, the ability to code is increasingly recognized as essential for success in the modern world. As educators, delivering a great coding curriculum is not just about keeping up with the times; it's about empowering our students to thrive in an ever-evolving world.

What does integrating coding into the classroom look like? This blog article will give you 5 examples that you can adopt in your K-12 classrooms.

Example 1: Creating interactive stories

Storytelling with Scratch

Integrating Scratch into the classroom provides an exciting opportunity for students to develop both their coding skills and storytelling abilities. You can introduce Scratch's user-friendly interface and basic coding concepts through hands-on tutorials and demonstrations. Throughout the project, you can facilitate discussions on storytelling techniques, character development, and plot structure, encouraging students to think critically and creatively about their narratives. Additionally, educators can also organize peer review sessions where students can share their projects, provide feedback, and collaborate on improvements.

Creative coding with p5.js

Creative coding with p5.js opens up a world of artistic expression and exploration for students in the classroom. P5.js is a JavaScript library and will require students and teachers to explore text-based coding, rather than drag and drag block-based coding like Scratch. Typically programming in JavaScript caters to the more advanced students with a strong fundamental understanding of logic. From creating generative art and visualizations to designing interactive experiences and simulations, students have the opportunity to explore their creativity and express themselves through code. You can get started with these tutorials if you'd like to introduce p5.js into your classroom.

Example 2: Robotics kit

Lego robotics

Integrating Lego robotics into your classroom can bring a whole new level of excitement and hands-on exploration. Start by designing project-based lessons that incorporate Lego robotics as a tool for exploring STEM concepts. Align these lessons with curriculum standards and structure them to guide students through the engineering design process, from brainstorming and prototyping to testing and refining their robot designs. Through coding software like the Lego Mindstorms EV3 programming environment, students can write code to control their robots, allowing them to complete tasks, navigate obstacles, and interact with their environment. Organize collaborative group work, where students work together to build and program their robots, fostering teamwork.

Example 3: Create a website or blog

Build a class website/blog

Creating a class website or blog offers a great opportunity for the whole class to work on a large, ever-evolving project. Begin by selecting a user-friendly website-building platform such as WordPress, Wix, or Weebly, and customize it to reflect the unique identity and goals of your classroom. Use features such as pages, posts, and multimedia content to share important announcements, assignments, and resources with students and parents. Encourage student involvement by allowing them to contribute content such as blog posts, project showcases, or multimedia presentations. Incorporate interactive elements such as discussion forums, polls, or surveys to foster collaboration and feedback.

Website Editors

While there are numerous website builders available that enable you to create a website without needing to teach coding, engaging students in the process of building a website can provide them with valuable insights into how the internet works. By guiding students through the steps of planning, designing, and publishing a website, educators can demystify concepts such as domain names, web hosting, and concepts such as HTML. Additionally, students can learn about website architecture, user experience design, and digital citizenship as they create content for their class website. Even though coding may not be required to use website builders, involving students in the website creation process cultivates digital literacy skills and empowers them to become informed and responsible digital citizens in an increasingly online world.

Image: Wix website builder

Example 4: Self-learning platforms

Video-based learning

CS First by Google is a self-learning, video-based platform in the classroom offers a versatile and effective way to introduce students to computer science concepts and coding skills. With CS First, you can access a wide range of interactive, video-based tutorials designed to engage students in creative coding projects. As a teacher, you play a pivotal role in fostering a culture of self-directed learning among your students. Encouraging students to learn on their own not only empowers them to take ownership of their education but also cultivates essential skills such as self-motivation, resourcefulness and collaboration (ie getting more advanced students to help out other students).

Interactive learning

Some students may prefer a more interactive approach rather than watching videos. Self-paced learning using platforms like Pico Coding offers students an immersive and dynamic way to delve into the world of computer programming using JavaScript. With Pico Coding's gamified coding challenges and interactive tutorials, students can progress through coding concepts at their own speed, gaining hands-on experience while mastering essential programming skills. Through engaging gameplay and real-time feedback, students can experiment with code, troubleshoot errors, and develop problem-solving strategies in a supportive environment. As teachers, you can support self-paced learning in your classroom by encourage students to experiment, recover from errors, and help each other.

Image: Pico Coding's interactive learning environment

Example 5: Minecraft education

Bringing something students already love like Minecraft into the classroom can have many benefits. Minecraft Education Edition offers a unique and immersive platform for teaching coding and computer science concepts. By leveraging the engaging environment of Minecraft, educators can introduce programming fundamentals such as loops, conditionals, and variables through interactive challenges and projects. Students can learn to code by creating their own mods, scripting in-game behaviors, and designing custom worlds. With features like the Code Builder tool and Code Connection, teachers can seamlessly integrate coding lessons into their curriculum, allowing students to apply computational thinking skills in a familiar and engaging context.

In conclusion, integrating coding into the classroom through innovative platforms and approaches opens up endless possibilities for engaging students in meaningful learning experiences. From interactive storytelling with Scratch to exploring computer science concepts through Minecraft Education Edition, educators have a wealth of tools and resources at their disposal to inspire curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking in students. By leveraging these technologies strategically, educators can cultivate a culture of digital literacy, computational thinking, and collaboration, preparing students for success in an increasingly technology-driven world.

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