Students today, having grown up with technology, already have the basic computer skills that used to be taught in school. The next step is to introduce coding; however, how it is introduced is what matters. Student use apps in their daily life and are familiar with a range of technologies, but coding is a different ball game, so must be taught differently. Kelly Baur asks, “how do you build a successful coding culture, where students have a programmer’s, rather than an app-user’s mindset?” It is important to keep in mind and explain to students how coding is in the real world, so students know they are learning a valuable skill. In the article it is recommended to divide students based on characteristics such as math scores and activity preferences to ensure the students working together are at the same level. The ability to problem solve is the key to success when learning to code and working in groups can help students get there. Educators should allow students to come together as a class and decipher the skills and concepts of coding they “Know” and the ones they “Need to Know” as a reflection and opportunity to goal set in the program. Teaching coding in schools can be beneficial and educators should be careful not to overwhelm the students and leave a sour taste in their mouth. We want to teach the students skills to work effectively in their jobs, and not use computer time to surf the web.
To find more tips on creating a positive coding culture click here.