Coding and Programming

High school provided me with my first exposure to computers and digital technology. I remember having to take a computer science course and feeling completely overwhelmed. I had no real idea what the teacher was talking about. I was handed cards with holes in them and was asked to “run a loop”? I muddled through the course thanks to “Steve” a straight “A” student, who graciously arranged my cards for me and walked me through each painstaking assignment.

We have come a long way since then. The advances in today’s technology are having a significant impact on the landscape of teaching and learning. Coding and programming are good examples of subject areas that have evolved tremendously. Today, students as young as kindergarten are learning how to code in some schools. In addition, there are even large scale events e.g. Hour of Code, that are promoting not only the benefits but the necessity of this skill. I have read several sources that claim that programming skills are going to be one of the skills needed in tomorrow’s workforce. Along with that is the idea that many of the jobs that we are preparing students for do not even exist yet!

Interesting Times!

5 comments

  1. Hi Maureen!

    I really connected with your point about how technology has made significant impact in teaching and learning, especially today, now that coding or computational thinking and design is something that can be taught earlier rather than later. In my post, I speak about how the language of technology or coding was foreign to me, and one of the personal road blocks I faced when trying to use technology effectively when I was younger. Today, it is so important that we teach this new language as early as kindergarten so that students are able to ask the right types of questions, and essentially start learning a new language early on. I look forward to learning more about these themes as the term goes on.

    Thanks!

    Cristina

  2. Hi Maureen,

    This is a great post; thanks for sharing your ideas. I absolutely agree that programming and coding have become extremely popular and relevant for our students, even at the earliest stages of elementary school. Many of the applications and resources available today target coding skills for students at the Division 1 level. The skills are essential, not only in terms of the technological understanding involved, but the opportunities for students to engage in creative thought, collaboration, and problem solving based activities.

    Do you have some experience in working with students around programming and coding in the classroom?

    Thanks again for your thoughts.

    – Allen.

  3. I think that important purposes of encouraging students to learn programming skills are helping students identify and understand how technology works, so they can understand the realm of possibility and then envision world-changing innovations, as well as how to visually express logic. We shouldn’t too much focus on acquiring programming and coding skills.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts Maureen. I agree it will be interesting to see what comes of this generation, being fluent in coding sometimes even before writing. I’m no expert in IT though I know having the ability to manipulate blocks of code adds an extra layer to having to code from basic computer languages.

    I wonder with emphasis being placed on students working in front of screens, whether connecting online will eventually replace face-to-face conversation. That is, while internet communications provides incredible opportunities to interact with others around the world, would local communities fade as people work in public spaces together physically but individually online?

    Andrew

  5. I’ve done ‘Hour of Code’ with my students the last couple of years, and they’ve loved it. When the weather is too bad to go outside, there are usually a crowd of boys in my room over the lunch hour working away at what ever project they have going on Scratch. It’s often boys, though, which is a little frustrating and I’m still thinking about how to get more girls in. Technology is indeed impacting the landscape of teaching and learning!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.