This week in digital technologies, we were exploring the benefits of using coding in the classroom. To do this, we looked at the computer coding game Scratch Jr. and we used this to create our own interactive game.
Coding is an important part of learning in today’s society as it is a vital part of literacy and some people believe that coding is the new literacy. Coding develops different skills and strategies, for example, designing projects, problem solving and communicating ideas.
Scratch Jr. is a coding game that allows young children from the ages of 5 and upwards to design their own interactive games and stories.
According to The Lead Project (2014), “As young people create Scratch projects, they are not just learning how to write computer programs. They are learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively – essential skills for success and happiness in today’s world.” While young people are creating using Scratch Jr. they are working together and learning new skills that they will use later in life and throughout their careers. The Lead Project (2014) also goes on to describe that Scratch can be embedded into many different areas across the curriculum.
The lesson that I created today using Scratch Jr. was an interactive story using adjectives. The lesson involved a treasure hunt to collect adjectives along the way. As the story progresses it gets more challenging and at the end, the children are asked if they can write down any more adjectives that they know. The lesson is enjoyable and interactive and it will challenge the learners to think for themselves while getting to experience Scratch Jr. I believe that this lesson would be aimed at the first level within the Curriculum for Excellence and the experiences and outcomes that I have recommended for this lesson are as follows:
- Using what I know about the features of different types of texts, I can find, select, sort and use information for a specific purpose. LIT 1-14a
- I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts. TCH 1-01a
Overall, I believe that coding is very beneficial within the classroom as it gives young learners the experience of working with another different and modern form of technology. The skills that are developed through the use of coding are skills that are required for adulthood and throughout the world of work. I feel that learners will have an enjoyable experience working with Scratch Jr. and it will enable them to work interactively. I also think that today’s lesson has given me an idea of the different things that can be created using coding games and it is something that I will carry with me throughout my teaching career.
The Lead Project (2014) Super Scratch Programming Adventure: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games! No Starch Press.