Thursday, 26 March 2015

Coding in School is about Learning!

Part 3: My last reflection on CBC’s The Current Kids Learn Computer Coding in Class to Help with Problem Solving:

Scratch creator Mitch Resnick believes that everyone should learn to code. Scratch launched in 2007 for kids aged 8-16 and more recently Scratch Jr for younger kids (aged 5-7). Through Scratch kids can express themselves and create dynamic and interactive stories, games, and animations. They can share their creations with each other through the online community. We want students to express themselves through meaningful projects and not get caught up in the syntax, punctuation and grammar of coding. They build their scripts with graphical programming blocks (like putting lego blocks together). The blocks in Scratch give an instructions and you snap them together to create a sequence of actions that is a program.

Getting a job as a programmer is one path but that is not Mitch Resnick’s main goal. His dream is to help students to be prepared for life in tomorrow's society. I think he says it well when he describes how society is changing quickly and specific facts we learn today will be obsolete tomorrow, but what is most important is becoming a good learner and developing the ability to think, collaborate and act creatively. That is what kids are learning through Scratch - skills will serve them well in life.