Children are growing up in an ever-increasing digital world with advancements happening daily. With this in mind, our curriculum and the way we teach must change to best support the future generations of society. Many people are starting to argue that coding is quickly becoming an important language and believe that all children must experience and have some knowledge of it from an early age.
The English Government believe strongly in that children should learn coding and have implemented it into their curriculum. In England children start learning coding from Year 1 and will do every year up until they sit their GCSE’s. Through the different stages their coding skills will progress so that they have a firm basic knowledge on coding (Curtis, 2003). The English Government firmly believe by children getting these experiences that they will be in the best position to compete in the global market once leaving school. Furthermore, it is believed that children should have a better understanding of coding and how companies may use this against them. If they grow up without the understanding of some basic algorithims and codes they may be naieve towards technology giants and how they may be exploiting them (Naughton, 2012).
In today’s workshop we were looking at coding. Before going to the workshop, I was slightly nervous as I had never coded before in my life and could only hear my friends from high school moaning about how hard their computing coding tasks were! However, I looked at the programme we were going to use the night before and my nerves were calmed as it seemed user friendly.
The programme we were using was called Scratch Jr. Scratch Jr is an “an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing.” (Scratch, Online). The programme can help develop and build skills for example, creativity, problem solving, logical reasoning and collaboration skills.
In today’s workshop we were to explore Scratch Jr. and use it to create a story to enhance literacy skills. The literacy outcome I chose to focus on was:
By considering the type of text I am creating, I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in a logical sequence and use words which will be interesting and/or useful for others.
I decided to keep the story simple and only used two main characters. I also left the story open and unfinished as the children were to develop and finish the story I had created. This would help children develop their creative thinking and writing. I had decided to start the story as some children can struggle with finding a starting point. Furthermore, the children could even finish the story by creating their own Scratch Jr programme.
Once I had time to discover what different blocks done and with the trial and error method, I easily managed to create my story. I believe that this is a great programme to introduce coding to young children. The programme is very simple, and children can explore and discover how to code characters to move, speak and run, just to name a few. The programme is also very appealing and uses bright colours making it seem more like a game to engage and encourage children to have a go. It also holds many different backgrounds and characters to explore, allowing children to think creatively as they have so many different options.
Overall, I really enjoyed working with Scratch Jr and can see myself using it in future placements if the situation allows.
Curtis, S. (2013) Teaching our children to code: a quiet revolutionAvailable: http://moodle1819.uws.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/39846/mod_resource/content/1/Teaching%20our%20children%20to%20code%20a%20quiet%20revolution%20-%20Telegraph.pdf[Accessed 02 February 2019]
Naughton, J. (2012) Why all our kids should be taught how to code Available: http://moodle1819.uws.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/39847/mod_resource/content/2/Why%20all%20our%20kids%20should%20be%20taught%20how%20to%20code%20%20Education%20%20The%20Observer.pdf[Accessed 02 February 2019]
Scratch Jr. About ScratchJr Available:https://www.scratchjr.org/about/info[Accessed 04 February 2019]