Featured Website of the Month (May) - Coding for Kids
Updated: Dec 14, 2018
I don’t know about you, but I feel like kids know a lot more about technology now than they did five years ago. As I’m walking through the grocery store, kids are helping their parents with the self checkout. Kids know the ins and outs of smartphones and tablets. I mean, has your child even seen a phone with a cord on it? Grandkids are helping grandparents set up social media accounts. Kids are teaching their parents how to navigate various aspects of technology. My two year old even knows how to swipe through the photos on my phone! Things are much different today than when we were growing up. Anyone else remember the day of car phones? Haha! That’s why I think it’s important for teachers and parents to feel empowered when it comes to teaching kids about technology. Kids need to learn about technology, so they can understand more about how it works and how to use it effectively. One unique way to do this is to teach kids coding.
You might be wondering, what is coding? And why are we teaching this to kids? This month's featured website shows you how to introduce your students to coding. Kodable is essentially a database for teaching kids how computers work. Everything that a computer does has to follow a sequence. This sequence is called a code. Through lessons provided on this website, teachers (or parents) can lead their kids through activities that teach about sequencing. Students learn, through games or other activities, how to put codes in the proper order. From here, kids are introduced to making simple games or apps. Kids are even introduced to the concept of programing various robots to do simple tasks. There are over 70 lessons to choose from, ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 5. Some lessons involve hands-on activities and others involve watching a video and discussing it.
Not only does the website give lesson ideas for the teacher, it also has interactive online lessons for students. The teacher can input student names into the website and each student will be given an individual access code. While online, students will be guided through a series of activities associated with the lesson from the teacher. Teachers can monitor their students progress online as well. The website visual displayed things so teachers can see exactly where their students are excelling and where they need some additional support.
If all of this seems overwhelming, Kodable offers free consultations. A Kodable expert can walk you through the process of importing a class, setting up lessons, navigating the site, or whatever else you might need. I find it great that a free website is also offering free consultations to ensure teachers feel empowered to use this site effectively.
Since this generation is surrounded by technology, why not teach them more about it? Kodable becomes a good free resource for empowering kids with the language and knowledge to better understand technology. The lessons could be taught by the teacher in large or small groups. Or the students could guide themselves through the activities online and discover things for themselves. How might you use this with your students?
May Giveaway - Coding Books
This month I'm giving away some fun books on coding! Use these books to teach your students how to code from scratch. Enter to win these three books: "How to Code: A Step-By-Step Guide to Coding" by Max Wainewright, "Kids Get Coding: A World of Programming" by Heather Lyons and "Kids Get Coding: Learn to Program" by Heather Lyons.
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