interests

A little more about the “Code”

Well this week I’ve been busy with catching up on and finishing the last of my assignments for this semester.  I’ll be glad to be done with writing essays for a while once this semester draws to an end.  It’s not that I don’t “like” essays, but I’m rather tired of doing so many of them. I’d like to sit back and read a book of my choice and partake in some activities that I choose, rather than focusing on school all the time. 

I’ve also been playing around with coding more. I’ve completed the 20 hours of code from code.org and found it very interesting (I’m kind of a bit of a computer geek sometimes, once I get hooked). I just seem to find it all so interesting and I want to learn more about it. I’ve decided to look a little deeper into the topic and have decided to continue with my learning on writing code with javascript using the site Codeacademy. There is also a free app from iTunes. I remember touching on this a little bit when I attended the University of Saskatchewan in 2001-2002 when I was enrolled in Commerce. Of course this was quite a while ago and computers have advanced quite a bit since then, but I’m finding that some of the information is coming back to me again. (Isn’t it funny how you forget that you know something when you don’t use that information?) It’s serving as a great refresher and I’m hoping to get a website set up sometime in the future for classroom use. 

codeacademy

Though I’m still unsure of all the possibilities of learning code in school, I’m finding it very informative for myself.  I would hope that some students would find it interesting as well and maybe strive for a career based in computer science.  After all, it’s a profession that isn’t going to be abolished any time soon. 

I’m wondering if any one has opinions on javascript or any of the other languages used to write code? Does anybody know if one is better to learn and for what reason?

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Maker movement?

I thought I’d write a post about the maker movement. We recently had one of our ECMP355 classes focus on this topic. It might not be what you think… I know I certainly thought that the maker movement was geared towards the technology that is currently over running our lives, but I was wrong (to some extent). It’s all about making things. Whether it’s a cardboard sleigh, a computer program, or how to build a robot. With society changing and therefore schools changing, as teachers we are faced with helping our students be prepared for an unknown future. Our students have to be ready to adapt and have to have the knowledge and skills to survive in an ever changing world. The maker movement helps students achieve this by giving them the opportunity to build something that is interesting and challenging to them. It proves as an outlet for students to problem solve and collaborate with one another. They have the opportunity to develop new relationships with people who have the same interests. The thing with the maker movement is that we’re all a part of it without even realizing it.

My daughter is actively involved in the maker movement, and I didn’t even realize it. I always knew that she was crafty and liked to sing and dance. I never really thought much about this until after this class. She’s always looking up how to do something on you tube and is currently fascinated with hair and nails. Like I said, I never really thought much about this… she is a young girl after all. But these are skills that interest her that she will have for the rest of her life. Even though the things that she’s interested in aren’t technology based, she does use technology to do research and study up on these topics. Here is a photo of a pen that she made into a flower using duct tape:

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I thought this was so cool. What a neat way for her to express herself. It probably cost me more in duct tape than it would have been to buy this up town, but it’s the fact that she thought of the idea, researched it, and made it herself that intrigues me. I’m very proud of her.

So this week I decided I was going to become part of the maker movement and make something that didn’t involve technology. Well, that’s a little bit of a lie because I got the idea from Pinterest and researched how to do it. This is the original post. But I really did make the rest of it myself. It’s a work in progress, but I am thoroughly pleased with how this turned out.

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(Don’t mind my missing paint. That is thanks to the Hot Wheels Wall Track that wasn’t supposed to rip off paint. Oh well.)

How do you feel about the maker movement? Does it make you want to try something new? As a teacher, how can you incorporate this into your classroom?

And to top it all off… I challenge you all to make something without using technology. (Or as little as possible).

 

 

It’s all in the code

This week’s ECMP355 class was mind blowing. I was very intrigued when I found out that it was all about coding. I’ve never had the opportunity, nor have I thought about pursuing it myself, to learn how to code. In fact, I’m not even sure that I really knew what it meant to ‘code’.

It’s amazing to think that it’s everywhere. How many of us play games or use technology of any sort? Answer: All of us. Whether we know it or not, code has been used in all sorts of things. I now have a new appreciation for all the apps and programs out there. I find myself asking, “how long did it take someone to figure this out?”

For this week’s Tech Task we were asked to experiment with coding. Simply play around with it a bit and see if we can make something up. I checked out a few of the options available and here is what I thought…

Espresso Education

This site requires a username and password and our instructor Dean Shareski was kind enough to get us access to this resource. I played around with the simple codes for quite a while and I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I kept thinking the whole time… what’s the point of this? and is all code written the same way? do these same buttons show up for all code? Well, my answers were really never really answered and I got tired of doing the same things over, but found that if I skipped ahead I had missed some important coding information and couldn’t succeed without it. Maybe I just didn’t have enough patience for this one off the hop. I’ll check it out again when I’m ready to sit down for a while.

I also checked out a tutorial on code at code.org

I found this site very interesting. Maybe it was because it started with coding for angry birds and then zombies. I worked my way through the first hour of code and then discovered that you can signup and complete 20 hours of code that will teach you so much more about it. I signed up and plan on completing these 20 hours sometime along the way. I would strongly suggest this site. 

coding

This is a screenshot of a stick man that I coded. It took plenty of trial and error, but I felt like I had cracked the code in the end. Yaaa!

Hopscotch

This was another recommendation from Dean regarding learning to code. This is an ipad app. I have downloaded it, but haven’t had a chance to give it a fair shake. Hopefully I’ll get time in the future.

Thanks for reading!