During the seminar we looked at some really useful websites to help the children progress with their coding. We focused on a k stage two age group and the sites we used will enable the children to design, write and debug programmes which involve a specific goal and solve a problem. This allows the children to enter an algorithm into a computer and achieve an output and solve a problem.
Hour of Code
This was the first site we explored: https://uk.code.org/learn and was great to enable the children to enhance their coding using an enjoyable stimulus. We used the programme of Anna and Elsa from Frozen and the task was to help them create a pattern in the ice, using the algorithms, for example moving forwards, backwards and turning left ad right by degrees. This progressed to become harder towards the end, including more in depth instructions. We talked about how to scaffold the children when doing this by asking them what they think they will do next or where they went wrong. This was a great website to help progress the children’s coding, debugging and mathematics skills in a fun and engaging way, using a topic they are interested in. The children can achieve a certificate when the hour of code is complete, which is a good way of rewarding the children.
The second site we looked at was Purple Mash: https://www.purplemash.com/#tab/home which was excellent for learning to code using interesting games and exciting challenges. We looked at 2code which allowed you to move objects in different directions and achieve an outcome. Logo allowed you to move a curser in ay direction a certain number of spaces in order to create a picture. 2go allowed you to chose your favourite background and either draw a picture using the algorithms or direct your character through the maze to reach the other side. I thought this website was also great for coding and allows the children to explore a lot more by completing challenges and seeing what they are capable of! Using logo, the teacher could set challenges for the children, such as can you write your name and can you create a swirl? This will help to engage the children and will provide more of a challenge, building upon their knowledge from using the beebots. We also looked at a programme called Tizzy, which similarly allows the children to create a picture by moving a turtle around the screen. These sites are all excellent to motivate the children and progress their knowledge of coding, algorithms, debugging and designing.
Source That Shows How To Get More Children to Code
This source was really useful to demonstrate lots of different and exiting coding websites and demonstrated the benefits or drawbacks of each one. This included sites such as Scratch, Maker Faire, Arduino and Greenfoot. This was really useful to read as each website was summarised and said the appropriate age group for. Therefore I could look at the appropriate ones before using them with the children. For example: “Next up was Alice meant for kids ages 8 and up. This site uses a story telling type of learning to program. For some reason boys don’t seem to like Alice very much (they’re not really sure why since the kids can use aliens and spaceships in their stories). Using Alice you can drag and drop objects in to your scene/story and when you do it pops up windows where you enter properties for the items. Once you have your scene set up you can edit the code by clicking on the object (your alien for example), but the edit screen is not your standard ‘code’ view, instead it’s friendly to kids by giving them pull down menus of actions.” I therefore found this source helpful to show the benefits of new coding websites.