Friday, 16 May 2014

Teaching Coding in the Primary School

I would like to share a great resource I came across. The first is a simple program for teaching students how to write code. There is also a series of lessons on different coding languages.

The thought of coding to me was daunting. In my mind it was what programmers learned in university and required the knowledge of language and symbols that were above my head. I noticed through Twitter and Google+ communities that many international schools were teaching coding to their students in after school clubs. I also found out through a free MOOC provided by FutureLearn that a coding program called Scratch was to be implemented next year in the new National Curriculum in England. I wanted this for my students too!  

Scratch is a program developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to teach children (or teachers like me) how to code. It is a very easy to follow program which uses blocks to tell characters what to do. Students can build computer games and make animations using the program.

A sample block of code in Scratch

I was very fortunate to hear of the Hanoi Coding Club. These guys are a group of volunteers who will come into schools and teach your students how to code. Their goal is to see programming being taught to students in a fun and easy to understand way. I requested a volunteer through this link. A series of lesson plans are available here. Now these are golden! You will see there are four units. The first two are scratch and then the class can progress to HTML and Python. This is a full year of coding lessons! I hope you will find them useful. Keep on learning on, like a bird that flew!