Teach coding to students, it’s an important skill.

Our Minister for Education has been praising the review of the “National Curriculum” This report has caused quite a lot of angst across the board but  technology in particular may well be phased back, especially before year 9. Whilst most agree that there is a  crowded curriculum many do not believe that studying  ICT contributes to a this unnecessarily. Many will argue that ICT skills are fundamental and it is critical that they should form part of the core curriculum, along with numeracy and literacy, in this increasingly digitized world.

Today I came across this well designed together infographic that explains how teaching coding to students, even young students, has several benefits and  why teachers must teach coding to their students. It is offers a very good argument for teaching the skills.

It was created by Kodable and is an iOS app that teaches children various coding and programming concepts through a variety of maze activities.The free version allows users to play the first 30 levels (Smeeborg World) for free.  The Pro version (has a small fee) offers full access, giving you a total of 4 Worlds. I have only seen the work of others as I use microsoft and android options.

Please include attribution to Kodable with this graphic.

5 Reasons to Teach Kids to Code

A few links to other posts/tools that might be useful:

7 Apps for Teaching Children Coding Skills Digital learning specialist Anna Adam provides a quick overview of seven apps that are appropriate for teaching younger children one of the most critical 21st century skills: coding.

Ten Resources for Helping Students Learn to Code and Program  by Richard Byrne on his blog Free technology for teachers. Very well explained uses for 10 tools.

Engaging 6th Graders With Coding A guest post on Richard Byrne’s Free technology for teachers where a teacher discusses how she approached teaching coding to her class.

Scratch Tutorials provides guidance on getting starting with Scratch with kids. Scratch is a website from MIT specifically for kids. Kids can program stories, games, and animation. It’s so empowering for kids to be able to learn how to build their own programs.

A useful pinterest board is Coding or Programming for students that collects all sorts of resources.

Useful links

The more you read Dr Seuss-web
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  Debbi Long 

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

Quote-Creativity is contagious, pass it on – Albert Einstein-web

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Color Oracle

Color OracleRecently one of our student support teachers did some testing on the students who struggle with the demands of the secondary school curriculum. She was testing how different colour filters affect the ease with which these can read. There was an amazingly high percentage of these boys who suddenly realised that they were not seeing text as others did.

It made me think about how many students (we are a boy’s school) might be colour blind, to varying degrees, and they may not be aware of this. Research has shown that many more males are prone to colour blindness, especially red-green. I have also seen some research that states that women, as a whole, can differentiate  between different shades of colours much better than men.

I like to use images and colour when I am presenting to classes. All sorts of information – be it graphical, maps, whatever – are in colour. How inclusive is this material? Are the colours I am using making it easier or more difficult for my students?

This led me to have a look at the tool Color Oracle, which is a color blindness simulator. It is a free,  runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems.

When it is installed and you run it, a small icon installs itself on the menu bar. To see your screen the way that a color blind person would, you simply click on the icon and select one of three types of color blindness. You can easily toggle your screen colors to simulate three color blind conditions, deuteranopia, protanopia and tritanopia. By  toggling between the various view modes, your screen is transformed to a new colour palette so you can evaluate how visible the colours you chosen are to everyone.  Once you have done this it is a simple to click on any key to return to normal mode.

Will this make it easier for many of the students at my school? I don’t know but it can only help me make sure that the resources I create offer anyone the best chance of  using them.

Useful links

Discover new oceans-quote

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Jigidi – online jigsaw puzzle tool

I have tried a new tool this week. It is called Jigidi and it creates free online jigsaw puzzles.

banner

homepage

It is simple to use. You can go to the site to access the expanding library of jigsaw puzzles created by others. You can search for puzzles based on a theme, by puzzle difficulty (easy is 60 pieces or less and challenging puzzles have 240 plus pieces).

In the puzzle work space, you can zoom in or out to give yourself more room to work. The ‘full screen’ mode removes other distractions and helps to focus on the challenge at hand. The site requires the Flash plug-in to make the puzzles interactive.

If you create an account (it’s free) you can upload your own images to make your own jigsaw puzzles to share. This will also remove ads from the puzzle pages. The tool does not require an email address to register.

It is very quick to create a puzzle. Upload your image, decide on the the difficulty (number of pieces) and create.set-up 2

Once created you can add extra data such as title, description, attribution and if you are happy to make it public, category and copyright details.

Click on Solve and the puzzle comes up. You can have a timer added if you want and can enlarge to fit the whole screen.

It is fun to see how many solves you get. my Radcliffe Camera puzzle had 74 in just over an hour and the Ford Anglia from the Harry Potter films had an interesting comment about the car.

puzzle2

You could use it with classes as a way of introducing a topic via images or as a review activity at the end.

You could have mystery images of places and see how quickly students realise where they are eg. geography or language studies. The timer could be used to see how fast someone can finish the puzzle.

Students could take some relevant (topic) photos, upload their  images and  shared the puzzles with their classmates or even parents.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 988 other followers