Skip to main content

No Secret Code

For many educators throughout the world, last week was known as the "Hour of Code." The Hour of Code event was a global initiative started by Their purpose was to bring coding and computer science into as many classrooms as possible. did a fantastic job at getting resources out to educators and providing the students great content to work with.

What exactly is coding and why it is so important are great questions. Coding is a way of talking with computers to have them do what you want. Coding is expanding so rapidly into so many fields, as almost everything is computer based. It is quickly making its way into business, mathematics, and medicine that its importance cannot be ignored. Coding requires problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills. It is so much more than just sitting at a computer by yourself and typing. There is also a desperate need for females in the field of coding, as it is currently male-dominated.

So all the above stuff is wonderful, but do the students buy-in? Absolutely. My students participated in the Hour of Code last week and were hooked immediately. They went through challenging levels at their pace and were forced to solve complicated, systematic problems. At times, other students jumped in to help them when some got stuck, at other times students asked other students for help, and at other times they wanted to work through it themselves to find the answer. The great thing for me to see, was that no matter which way they solved their problems, they were actively engaged in their own learning without any prompting from me. They have taken ownership of their learning. They are becoming the independent learners we want them to be. The only thing is, is for that to happen, the teacher must be willing to let that happen.

The Hour of Code was an event that I would not have wanted to miss. It was an opportunity for students to realize the potential they have in a field that is suited for them, yet not taught in many schools yet. Having my administrators give me the approval and support with the idea, allowed my students to experience the chance to possibly glimpse into their futures. It is no secret, coding can be the ticket for many to make their lives what they dream them to be.


Popular posts from this blog

Not Just Any Summer Assignment: A VR Summer Learning Experience

This summer, I intend to go to Disney World and other parts of Florida, the Outer Banks, Ocean City, New York City, a Kansas City Royals baseball game, the Grand Canyon, the White House, a NHL Finals game, a cruise, and I plan to go to all of those places without leaving my house. How? With the Cardboard Camera app, Google Cardboard, and Google Classroom. I have given my sixth grade students one last assignment, and this assignment will run all summer long. Their assignment is to bring along their classmates on their summer vacation trips using the Cardboard Camera app, by uploading their images to Google Classroom for their classmates and myself to view on our Google Cardboards (we had a Google Cardboard make and take night in early May, so the students are really into VR now), and finally collaborating on a Google Slide (Take Us With You On Vacation). Benefits to this assignment: 1. Let's start with the obvious. It is really cool. Who doesn't want to try out VR? The students ab…

Top 10 Things I Learned from Being a Principal for Seven Weeks

For seven weeks, I was an interim, elementary principal in one of my district's elementary schools. It was an opportunity and experience that was invaluable. When I began I was nervous and full of anxiety, but when I ended, I had wonderful memories, great new relationships, and a very real and meaningful learning experience.  So as I look back on my seven weeks as an elementary principal, and try to put things into perspective, these are my top ten things I have learned.   Be Visible From my very first day, I knew I had to be out of my office and in the halls, classrooms, cafeteria, and out on bus duty. I needed to show students, parents, teachers, and staff I was there for them. I could not do that from staying in my office trying to sort through all the emails and paperwork. While those needed attention, being visible was more important.  Be Real While I was filling in for another principal in his building, I still I had to be myself as I addressed issues and worked with others. I co…

Flipping Out for Faculty Meetings

This year my classroom grew from about 25 students to about 665 students, as I made the transition from sixth grade teacher to elementary principal. It has been an exciting and enjoyable transition. It has also been interesting being on the other side of things. For example, being on the other side of faculty meetings.

September's faculty meeting I did the traditional approach. Scheduled it. Sent out an email reminder. Met with the faculty and started going over what I needed to say, offering very little time for discussion. But then I did change things up about half way through. I introduced our district's Google Expedition VR kits. I took them on a few virtual reality field trips and showed them how they could be used with any subject. Then before I knew it, it was time for the students to arrive.

As I prepared for my October faculty meeting, I thought about how I introduced the teachers to the Google Expeditions VR kits and how teachers in grades 3, 5, and 6 used those a f…