This week millions of students in over 180 countries are participating in “Hour of Code” to raise awareness about the importance of computer science around the world and in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. I have been a bit reluctant to embrace coding in my classes, thinking that it was all too difficult and unnecessary. Just like the driver of a car can get from A to B without knowing how a combustion engine works, a computer user can operate the device without knowing how to code. However, every driver can benefit from some basic mechanical knowledge and every computer user can benefit from some knowledge of basic coding – and they may even find it fun and interesting!
There are many “Hour of Code” resources available for teachers and students, making it very easy to introduce coding in your classroom, no matter what age your students are. I have curated some links to resources at the end of this post. At Hawkesdale College, students from Grade 5 to Year 9 used Code Studio to create their own Flappy Bird game using simple drag and drop commands. Many of these students progressed to creating Angry Birds mazes and Frozen snowflakes.
“I made the flappy bird and angry birds game. My favourite was the angry bird one because the scene and characters change throughout the learning and it’s a bit more challenging.”~ Catie (Year 8)
“I created snowflakes in the Frozen game, which was quite fun.
I like experimenting with the Flappy Bird and the Angry Bird codes.
I like the idea of putting codes together quite easily and customising the game to suit us. I would like to do more of this stuff in our daily classes.” ~Vesna (Year 7)
“I made a flappy birds game and an angry birds game. The flappy birds game was quite fun but I liked the the angry birds game better. I like how things change around during the angry birds game. It was good to learn and it really tests your brain.”~ Hannah (Year 8)
- “Hour of Code” website with map, tutorials and FAQ.
- “Learn Code” Studio with videos, simple tutorials and lots of games and puzzles to create.
- Create your own Flappy Bird Game
- Use simple coding to create snowflakes with the Frozen characters and learn about angles at the same time.
- Write your first computer program using the chararcters from the Angry Birds game.
- More links to resources for teaching and learning coding.