Trinity Lutheran School works to prepare students for the future, one of the many ways we are doing that is through programming and computer science lessons. This year is our first year working with Code.org and their Hour of Code program. Code.org “is a non-profit that organizes the annual Hour of Code campaign which has engaged 10% of all students in the world, and provides the leading curriculum for K-12 computer science.” At Trinity, students worked throughout April for a full month of code!
In the younger classes throughout the month teachers also played programming games designed not so much to teach the coding language but to focus more on thinking and problem solving like a developer. Teachers would allow themselves to be “programmed” by the students to perform a simple task in the classroom.
Middle School students’ final project was an on-going project. They learned that coding is similar to writing a paper. There’s a first draft, and then multiple revisions to their project before they publish something that is neat, orderly, and more importantly, works properly. Even, then there’s always something you can add to your project to make it better. The final project also challenged several students in a new way. Solving some of the problems associated with programming a sketching app aren’t immediate or simple. The students were challenged to solve multiple-step problems all by themselves and were encouraged to work with a friend to help solve the REALLY complex problems. Teamwork and collaboration were essential to solving those complex problems. By the end of the month, students felt comfortable asking for help from not only Mr. Mike but also their friends and classmates.
“Coding” is a buzzword in education for the last several years. There are advertisements everywhere promoting the benefits of quitting your job, learning how to program, and then making a small fortune as a software developer. Software developers and web developers are the new social media and pop culture rockstars too. Anything Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), or Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google/Alphabet) do seem to change the world. And let’s not forget mega-corp Apple and their i-devices. Computer science is more than a passing fad. The future is in computer science and programming is the language of that future.
This year’s Month Of Code program was a great success. We cannot wait to do it again next year!