February 17, 2016 by wendy
It is my honour to announce that this month, I joined Kids Code Jeunesse, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering Canadian children with code, as their Western Regional Coordinator to help bring their coding programs to BC. I’m thrilled to be joining such a talented team and to have the opportunity to inspire even more young people with code!
Marshmallow Coding will no longer offer the Coding for Kids program; however, we will continue to fulfill requests that we’ve already confirmed until the end of this school year.
Over the next several weeks, we’ll be updating the website to reflect this change. We’ll do our best to keep existing resources available, and in the future, we may even add more online resources. Although this is my last blog post here, you’ll find me on the Kids Code Jeunesse blog very soon.
For now, we plan to continue to update our Facebook and Twitter channels with resources that we think are valuable to our followers.
Thank you so much to all of the teachers, students, librarians, and other members of the community who have supported our cause. We wouldn’t have made it this far without you. We look forward to working with you again in our next adventure.
February 5, 2016 by wendy
In Part 4 of our Coding Curriculums series, we focused on computer science concepts that students in key stage 3 should learn based on the National Curriculum in England and the unplugged activities suggested in their guide for secondary teachers. Unplugged activities are important for students to understand concepts, but plugged activities are equally important for students to apply these concepts and learn through experience. Today, we summarize the skills and knowledge that children from ages 11 to 14 should learn through plugged activities.
By programming in multiple languages, students learn how to apply concepts from one language to another. If they were previously using a visual or block-based language, such as Scratch, they should attempt to apply the same concepts to a textual language, such as Python. At the same time, they can experiment with more complex ideas:
To learn about how computers work, students should explore one or more of the following questions perhaps through an inquiry-based project:
Sound is converted from analog waves into digital files so that it can be stored, manipulated, and played on computers. Students should play with changing the sampling rate to observe the differences in sound quality and file size.
By this point, students have experience with multiple programming languages, tools, and technologies. This is a great time for them to design their own creative projects. They should be responsible for setting their own goals, evaluating processes, and reflecting on their results. They should use resources responsibly and safely, and respect copyright.
Students should continue practicing digital literacy, that is, using technology safely, responsibly, and securely. For example, they should know how to protect their online identity by using strong passwords and anti-virus software, how to be safe when visiting websites and opening emails, and what to do when they come across inappropriate content.