EDUCATION: Creating creative coding classrooms

16 May 2017

Digital Technology is at the forefront of our student’s minds. They have iPads, laptops, iWatches and iPods at their fingertips, so as educators, we need to be embracing this digital world that our students live in. 

“Creativity is intelligence having fun” ~ Albert Einstein.

While students these days appear born to use the technology that surrounds them, the challenge is to turn them from merely technology consumers to technology creators.

Programming is a new addition to our Australian Curriculum and we are slowly understanding the importance of the future leaders of our world knowing how to program. As Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun”, therefore Sunshine Coast Grammar students have been introduced to the creative world of coding. 

Many free online coding resources offer students the opportunity to explore and create imaginary worlds online to share and play with other children from their classes or even across the globe.

Little robotic bees, called BeeBots, are also enhancing students understanding of programming and algorithms. Students develop maps for their BeeBot to journey through and they are required to program the pathway for their BeeBot.

It’s not only educators that are behind the push towards learning to code. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg has offered very clear (and succinct) advice to children wanting a successful future – “learn how to program”. Students also need to be made aware of complex computer ‘lingo’ such as binary, encryption, Boolean operators, metadata and the basic hardware of a computer.

Sunshine Coast Grammar caters for a variety of programming opportunities through lunch-time coding clubs, timetabled ScopeIT coding lessons for Prep to Year Six students, in class use of coding programs on class sets of ipads and laptops in Prep to Year 4 and one-to-one devices for students from Year 5-12.

It is essential that teachers working with students in our 21st century classroom are speaking the same language as their students. Although many of the teaching profession are migrants to the digital world of coding, they need to cater for and speak the same language as the native inhabitants of this world – the students. Educators at Grammar are thriving on these new learning opportunities to develop inquiring minds in our classrooms and for the future.

Written by

Liesl Walker

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