When it comes down to it, what I’m feeling right now is probably what every teacher feels at some point—the magical epiphany that “A few weeks ago, my students didn’t know [what programming was], and now they’re [running home to work on coding challenges] and [saying that they want to study computer science in college].”
There were two parts to this success story:
- a one-hour introduction to programming, which was really a thinly disguised pitch for the computer science course we’ll be offering for the first time next year. I had my students warm up with a Do Now asking them to identify some of the many ways they rely on coding in their everyday lives, without even realizing it. I used this PowerPoint as a basis for our discussion, which led into this (now semi-viral) video put out by Code.org, and finally some live coding in Python (the Word Smoosher was a big hit).
- a visit by Jeremy Keeshin, cofounder of CodeHS.com. Thirty-two (out of 74) juniors from across the academic spectrum signed up for an after-school workshop that Jeremy ran to introduce students to some of the basics of coding as well as the terrific online platform for learning coding that he has developed. The program is such that students are able to watch short tutorial videos and work on challenges at their own pace, and Jeremy and I mainly circulated to help students troubleshoot …
It sounds like a very good beginning—I hope that the programming course that they are offering next year goes well.
Read the full story at via Infinigons, etc.: Have an hour to fill with your students?.