Today, I learned a bit about basic programming on a website called hourofcode.com. It isa website designed to teach students about the basics of programming, and it draws them in with the use of simple coding language as well as games associated with popular characters like Elsa from Frozen or Moana. Students are encouraged to learn new coding skills in order to make the games work.
I chose to play the Minecraft Adventure game, since I’ve grown up playing the game.
For this game, the kind of code used was called “Blockly”. ??? explained that “under the hood, you will be writing Java Script.”
I enjoyed using Blockly because it is visually easy to understand how the block-shaped “commands” fit together and impact actions in the “play space”, where the program is running. The blocks are colour-coded to help you tell the difference between different commands, with indentations on the sides to make them really look like pieces in a puzzle.
BENEFITS OF LEARNING CODE
Learning coding sharpens several important skills for students that will carry into future life, careers, and pursuits:
- Following Instructions
- this is an important skill for careers and the workplace, as well as in life. Students who learn at a young age to properly follow instructions bring value to those they work for because they are reliable.
- students can learn how to carefully follow instructions
- Understanding Sequencing
- more important that following instructions is the ability to understand the nature of those instructions. Students who understand cause-and-affect, that is, the correlation between actions, will grow in their problem-solving skills. It is a valuable skill in any workplace to analyze a situation, whether it be a problem or a successful strategy, and reverse-engineer it to discover the cause.
- the blocks in this activity, which represent commands, fit nicely in a top-down sequence. This sequence represents the order in which the commands are triggered.
- Software Design
- when we arm students with coding skills, we help them realize an entirely new and fresh world of creativity. We unveil to them the true intricate workings of programs that they use everyday, and help them realize that they can create these things too. It’s like that moment that you realize that a car has many systems and machines working within it to make it run. By teaching students code, we are giving them paint and brushes, and an opportunity to create their own digital tools and programs. The sky is the limit when creative students can program.
- There are so man job opportunities for students who graduate with programming skills. Businesses and organizations are always looking for people who can create new softwares and programs that make their job easier and more efficient.