I chose to check out a tutorial on coding for beginners called The Hour of Code. To be completely honest, I had no idea what coding was before I started, so it was amazing how much I learned about it in only an hour! This program gives step by step directions to learn the basic concepts of computer science. For those who want to learn more, or want to use it in the classroom, there is a 20 hour code curriculum that lets you master the basics of programming.
Throughout the Hour of Code, I went through a set of 20 puzzles where I had to use certain codes to get to the end. After completing a number of puzzles, a video popped up and gave more instruction and clarity about what each of the codes meant. By looking at the picture below, you may feel overwhelmed and not even want to attempt trying it, but don’t feel that way – it’s surprisingly easy! It is set up like a maze, and you have to get to the end without getting eaten by the scary flowers using the different codes. The simple codes consisted of: “move forward” and “turn right or left”. The not so simple codes: were “repeat until” statements and “repeat X amount of times” statements. Lastly, near the end of the tutorial, I was taught how to use “if, then do this” statements, and “if pathways ahead, do this, or else” statements. This might sound like gibberish if you haven’t tried it, but I promise, it’s not as hard as it seems! Codes are the foundation of any app or program that you will ever create.
Something that I found to be very interesting while I was searching the website, was that this program is available in 34 different languages, which would be perfect for ESL students. I think letting your students come up with their own codes and create a game or app is as rewarding as it is beneficial to their learning. I would personally use this in my own classroom, would you, and at what age level?