Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Coding in CTE

The Hour of Code brought many opportunities for students across Moore County. Students in elementary, middle and high school spent time exploring the Code.org website along with many others. 

Coding is the new literacy. To thrive in tomorrow’s society, young people must learn to design, create and express themselves with digital technologies,” says Mitchel Resnick, a media arts and sciences professor at the MIT Media Lab.

Students in the 6th grade Career Decision class at West Pine spent some time learning to code. They used the website coding.org.They began by working through some of the basics on the website, completing several levels before they began the assignment. They then had to create a story or a game using the program. The only requirement was “NO VIOLENCE!”

Aniyah was the first one in the class to figure out the complete her story. She was so excited to see her work on the screen and to see her accomplishment. She quickly worked through the tutorials and then began her project. Olaf and Frozen was her inspiration for her project. She didn’t see a snowman so she used a penguin because it fit with her snow theme. “It was really entertaining to work through the tutorial and then I got to use my imagination for my project. I learned to work with the computer better and to use the parts of the program. The pixels were controlled through the math actions; increasing the pixels controlled how far a character moved. I created the characters as I went along using the events action. Once I chose to put in a character, I was able to choose the characters from a long list of options. My favorite part was coming up with my idea. I think I could use it in other classes to show how the planets rotate around the sun, or the life cycle of a flower.”

“I worked on it for a long time, probably about 2 weeks. My favorite part was creating a story that showed my artistic side. Not only did I learn how to code, but I was also able to help others learn how to do things. I learned to be patient because it takes a long time and you have to concentrate.” Jada R.

“This was an ok project; I just had to put a lot of work into it. This showed me that video games are hard to design and we should appreciate the work they put into it.” Gerald O.

“I liked that we could go where we wanted to with this project and make what we wanted. We were able to get creative with this. I created a story about a lost dinosaur who was trying to find his way home. I learned how to code, which I had never done before.” Nick D.

“I created a story because a game was a lot harder. So mine had a Christmas theme and it was about a cat who is trying to find something he lost. It was hard learning to code and putting all the pieces together but it was fun. After learning how to code, I have practiced it at home too. I think a career in coding would be fun.” Joanna J.

“Honestly, I have never done coding before but once I got started, it got easier and easier. It was fun to do it with my friends. I learned how other people do this and there are a lot of complicated things and it is easy to get confused. It was good to have a partner to help you work through these problems. I made a story about unicorn who was trying to make it to a party. It took a few days and it runs for about a minute! It really is a lot of work to make anything happen.” Ainslee W.

Mrs. McMillan is a veteran teachers who teaches Exploring Career Decisions at West Pine Middle School.

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