13 Replies Latest reply on 17-Jul-2017 3:42 PM by sunnyblonde

    Module 9 Consolidation Discussion


      What did you like about this experience? How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom? How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum?

      Please post your thoughts below...

        • Re: Module 9 Consolidation Discussion

          Thank you very much for the opportunity to participate in this professional learning.  We spend a lot of time being trained on teaching Math, Language or Science, but we don't have many chances to learn ideas of how to teach students to think.  Coding is so much more than learning the skills to program something to act on a computer screen.  As was mentioned in one of the modules, not all students who learn code will become computer scientists, but there are valuable skills and life lessons that they will learn.


          What I liked about this experience was having the opportunity to connect coding to different subjects.  I will definitely have all the students this year use code to create 2-D shapes and patterns.  Later on in the year, I may have the older students use coding to create equations for growing patterns.  I have played around with Scratch before, but never used the Data blocks.  For myself, I hope to provide homeroom teachers with coding activities that they can not only assess for subject marks, but have the opportunity to observe their students in action to assess learning skills.  I also learned that coding cannot be something that is taught for a few weeks as a "unit" and then ignored the rest of the year.  There is value in doing it throughout the year.


          Modification of activities will be interesting next year.  Some students (primarily the younger ones) have had the chance to play around with Scratch and Makey Makey.  The older students have had little to no chance to try coding.  It was interesting to see the number of FDK teachers participate and show excitement here with coding.  I will need to find a way to give the older students opportunity to code and show them and their teachers that coding is something that can happen within the expectations of the curriculum.  I also enjoyed looking at the unplugged activities and incorporating them into the students' learning.  Even if computers are not available to create code, students can still create activities that involve needing the skills to code or an understanding of computer science.


          The plugged and unplugged activities show connection to curriculum if you are willing to look for it.  We all have our favourite "unit" that we teach.  This unit may not connect completely with the curriculum but we like it so much that we find ways to justify using it.  Teaching coding engages our students and, after this experience, is really easy to find ways to use coding to help students to learn elsewhere.  Thanks again.

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          • Re: Module 9 Consolidation Discussion

            I enjoyed taking this course very much and learned a great deal. Thank you Brian and TVO for this amazing opportunity!  This year, I only tried unplugged coding and was unaware of what else was out there. I liked getting out of my comfort zone and learning about Scratch and trying out different coding projects (i.e., making shapes, stories, and probability games). Prior to this course, I never could have dreamed that one program can do so much and teach so much! Scratch is amazing! I am just amazed and grateful. I enjoyed seeing how coding is important for our students and provides them with such great and powerful learning. Coding allows them to construct their learning, make important connections, and further the learning of others including their peers and teachers. I also enjoyed learning about Makey Makey projects and have been inspired to try them with my class in the near future.


            I would modify this learning by starting my class with Scratch Junior. That would be a great program for us to learn together. When teaching unplugged coding this year, I made sure my students were familiar with directions. I think knowledge of shapes would also be important before working with Scratch Junior.  The possibilities are endless and learners can be stimulated and engaged across all curriculum areas because of the open ended and far reaching aspects of coding.


            Thank you so much! 

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            • Re: Module 9 Consolidation Discussion

              I really enjoyed the second lesson. Sometimes the most interesting questions are the ones you don't even think to ask--such as sorting algorithms. I can see myself using these as ice breaker activities as well as data management and coding opportunities. There is so much potential in this entire approach!

              Overall with this course, I am very excited with the possibilities that I can see. When students learn through active problem solving and teaching--in this case the least intelligent recipient, the computer--they learn valuable thinking and communication skills. The activity of coding is self-correcting, and objective, which I see as a bonus for students who have trouble receiving feedback from others. Through debugging, students learn perseverance and problem solving skills. I came into the course excited about coding as an "extra" and hoping to find more ways to use it in more subjects, but I am now convinced that more than a separate subject of its own, it is an educational approach that can be used in all subject areas incorporating current best practices in pedagogy. Anywhere there is a pattern, a set of directions or a strategy needed, coding can become a valuable part of the learning.

              I enjoyed working with Scratch as well as peeking at Python and many of the other resources in this course. This is definitely among the best and most useful professional development opportunities I have had. Thank you Brian and everyone else involved in making this happen!

              Since I do not currently have my own classroom, it is difficult for me to say exactly how I would modify this for my own use, aside from pulling out some one-off unplugged lessons to use in my OT bag of tricks.

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              • Re: Module 9 Consolidation Discussion

                This experience was the first step I needed to get rid of the misconceptions that I had about coding and computer science. I was feeling overwhelmed for some parts but this made me more determined to continue learning more. The unplugged coding support links were the icing on the cake! If I was still feeling confused in any way, these resources had a range of entry points that sparked my curiosity.

                I spent most of the day reading and trying out he different lessons and bookmarked most of them. Their Twitter feeds are great too! The unplugged activities were at a variety of learning levels. These resources and links are a great way to demonstrate through hands on collaborative activities how computers work. I ordered their guide, (I know that it can be downloaded for free but I am a tactile person) because I thought it would a simple resource for our classroom and for others as well. The kids will have opportunities to make these connections on their own and I know my K friends will do this. I made the connection to the Perler beading activities that my friends love to create. The grid work is tedious for them but they stick with it and complete intricate designs. Friends in our classroom love to sort and come up with different ways to organize our materials. This is can also be connected to what computers do too. I will now look at the world through a different lens.


                The downloadable links: coding cards and Scratch coding segments etc. will help me get started in my classroom and inspired me to commit to starting a school coding club. I already put the bug in the ear of a few of my colleagues. I am excited to try out my new Makey Makey. In Kindergarten, most certainly there are cross curricular connections, everything is connected in our learning spaces. They are always eager to explore and investigate.


                To the statement, “Coding is a way of thinking” I would add that “Coding is also a way of “making this thinking visible.” Most certainly when I was using the Scratch coding blocks and I got to see what I built. Who doesn’t want to look inside to get a view of how something works. Taking this course was a last-minute decision for me because I was worried that I would be lost and not be able to keep up. But I held my own and I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn alongside many other dedicated educators and leaders in this field. I am a changed person. Thank You All!




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                • Re: Module 9 Consolidation Discussion

                  I can't say enough about this course and the learning that's occurred in such a short time.  When you know better, you do better.  So much of this course surprised me and made me questions my assumptions.  The work of Papert is one such example  -- his thinking about Mathland has really helped to shift my thinking, and push me.  He's correct -- 100 years ago, we could be transported into a classroom and still recognize many of the procedures, rules and assumptions about what school and learning are that we see today.  I know that's changing....and I'm excited to help give it a push!

                  • Re: Module 9 Consolidation Discussion

                    I am so glad that I signed up to do this course!  At times I wasn't sure what some things meant, but most of the time I did - I guess this is learning. I definitely demonstrated a growth mindset with regards to coding and computer science in general. Unfortunately  I was unable to play around with Scratch due to my device, but was able to use Scratch Jr.  This is what my Kindergarten students would be using anyway.  When I am able to use a device that Scratch will work on, I will be sure to give it a go. 

                    I enjoyed watching Brian's tutorials.  They are easy to follow and I love it when he forgets a step and then goes back to add it.  This is so important for the students to see.  I totally agree with Christy's comment that coding makes thinking/learning visible and this is a perfect example of this.

                    I am reflecting on how we can "think more in algorithms".  I agree that there are many opportunities to do this outside of math and coding.  The first thing that popped into my head was learning to tie shoes.  This was a big deal this year for several of my students in Kindergarten. 

                    Thank you for this opportunity Brian and TVO.  I enjoyed learning along with so many passionate educators and am rather sad that the course is finished.  I wish everyone a wonderful summer holiday and an exciting beginning to a new school year!


                    • Re: Module 9 Consolidation Discussion

                      I know that module after module I have commented on how I cannot transfer everything to my secondary English class.  Before you think I am a total moaner, I do want to say that being exposed to Scratch has really had a HUGE impact on me.  Hard to believe from some of my posts, I have learned a lot in this course.  One of my reasons for taking was that I really know nothing about coding (other than an afternoon course I took about a decade ago on HTML coding).  But my desire to help my students has pushed me out of my comfort zone and I am really trying to learn what I can about IT in the classroom and coding.

                      Your course has been amazing.  Although I am not a math teacher nor a coding expert (obviously), I have learned a lot here.  I do wish that there was a similar course that focused on using coding in English and Humanities, however.  Should TVO ever develop one, please let me know!


                      Thanks again for an amazing course.