To be honest, coding is not something that I have ever had an interest in. I cannot recall ever doing it before, as I never took any computer science (or anything similar) type of classes throughout my education. However, I think that it is actually a really interesting process to try out doing, at least once. On any of our devices (nearly anything with a battery), any time that something is clicked on, this generates an event and for every event there is a code to determine what to do when an event occurs. A code is a precise set of instructions that a computer can understand to carry out a function. It is interesting to understand the process behind the interactive computer programming that surrounds our lives, whatever it may be. Many items that we use every single day such as cellphones, microwaves, cars, etc. all rely on codes to make them work. So essentially, we rely on codes too, so that we can use these items to better our lives. When something is so prominent in our lives, it can be important to come to understand how it works. Even if you do not plan on majoring in computer science or ever creating a computer program in your life, coding is an interesting skill to try out to help you better understand what is working behind the scenes in our increasingly digital world.
Here is a short video to explain what coding is and why it is significant:
I decided to try out one of the Hour of Code options on Code.org. I chose the “Make a Flappy Game” option because I recognized the game Flappy Bird and thought this would be fun to try out. The video below was the first instructional video that played before I started making my own. As I have never done any coding before that I can remember, this video was very helpful.
I intentionally chose an option that seemed like it would be fairly straightforward as I do not have a lot (or any) experience with coding. There were great instructions to tell you exactly what to do throughout the practice run. After completing all of the puzzles, the last one was to create your own flappy game. I created a screencast (below) of me creating and playing my own flappy game.
Here is the link to my Flappy Game so you can play it: https://studio.code.org/c/1153631396
The Hour of Code options on Code.org are extremely user friendly and a super straightforward and engaging introduction to coding. This is definitely a tool that would be extremely useful in the classroom for any age group as there are so many different options on the site to try out! Starting off very skeptical to my interest in coding, I actually really enjoyed it. It was fun to put the specific directions in and then run the game and see the words really come to life. I would highly recommend using Hour of Code to introduce coding into the classroom! Not only is it super fun and interactive for all ages, it also teaches the very valuable workings behind all of our computer generated devices that operate within our lives.
Also, this certificate of completion that you receive after finishing could be great for younger students to take home and show their parents! What a fun way to demonstrate our accomplishments!