Week 6 Reflection

This was the first week I saw a real debate for our class, instead of playing Devil’s Advocate or asking questions to extend knowledge. I recall when I saw this week’s essential question and couldn’t think of a compelling reason to not teach coding. As I did my research, I still wasn’t convinced. The arguments were not compelling to me. Though I understood the arguments, with technology being a part of everyone’s world today (even our youngsters) I believe keeping technology available to our students.

A conversation with Jason on my blog and the Twitter chat helped me see other people’s view points. However, I still hold my belief that coding should be introduced and taught to students. I do not think it should be the total technology curriculum, if schools have such a program. As educators, it is our responsibility to open our students up to the possibilities that are out there. Kodiak is not as rural as some places, yet many of my students may have never heard about coding if it hadn’t been brought into the classroom. One student loves it so much that he now has moved from the Hour of Code to the Coding/Programing guides available on Khan Academy.

The most significant reflection is that as a teacher I always have to be willing to learn and see what’s out there. Students will not always know the possibilities that are available to them. What I take away from this week is not that every student will become a coder or even like coding, but as a teacher, I have a responsibility to help them discover this world. Our job is not just to teach subjects but social skills and to empower children – to let them know what is out there and what is possible. Coding is just one skill that we can teach our students and it may help them be successful in the future.

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One thought on “Week 6 Reflection

  1. I did not have the opportunity to read your blog until Monday, so I am posting my most convincing argument for coding in school as a response to your blog. I agree with you that coding experiences should be made available in school.
    The most compelling argument for computer coding in schools is that coding is an activity that demands critical thinking. A person who works with coding has to repeatedly consider, “If I do this, then this will happen.” Conversely they must reflect, “If I want this to occur, what must I do?” There are very few activities in school where the result of an action is so directly obvious, and most of them (arts, crafts, and industrial sciences, chemistry, physics) require the use of expensive materials that must be replaced any time there is an error or the product does not turn out as expected. A board cut too short cannot be made longer again, but a coded activity can be revised over and over again until the desired result is achieved.
    Not all students enjoy and are successful at art, and not all students will enjoy and be successful at coding. Is it as essential to lifelong success like learning to read? No, but for many students the opportunities found at school are the only opportunities they will get. We do not expect our students to become Rembrandts and Hoppers when we do art activities in school, so we should not expect our students to become Steve Jobs or John Connor. But if your students have access to computers, coding exercises would be as valuable an experience as hearing a good-quality folktale.

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