Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Welcome to the Parramatta Diocesan Home for Bots and Coding

Welcome to our new Parramatta Diocesan Learning Exchange blog which will provide a home for all things about Coding and Robotics. Over time we hope that this resource will grow to hold research, resources and shared experiences of students and teachers in Parramatta Diocese.  As they explore learning and teaching ideas for integrating coding and robotics into the teaching of Mathematics, Science, Design and Technology.

Have you ever considered learning to code as a creative activity? We believe learning to code is a contemporary way in which students can express their ideas and create solutions using technologies With code, students often design stories, build games, apps, create digital stories or even build robots that can perform simple "tasks"?

Educators around the world are now recognising that the ability to program or code, is an important part of being literate today. It is helpful to think less about 'learning to code' and more about 'coding to learn'. By this we mean that, learning to code provides students with contexts in which they learn to become "thinkers" - to apply design processes as they seek to solve real world problems and further develop their ability to think logically and creatively.

Chris Betcher, an Australian educator claims:

Coders are thinkers: “The ability to clearly analyse difficult problems and come up with innovative, clever, reusable solutions is the kind of thinking that pushes our world forward.” 

To get our discussion started you may like to watch the following TED TALK "Let's teach kids to Code" by Mitch Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at MIT Media Lab. Resnick's research group developed the "programmable brick" technology that inspired the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kit. They are also the developers of the visual programming tools called Scratch/  In this TED TALK, Resnick outlines the benefits of teaching kids to code, so they can do more than just “read” new technologies — but also create with them.

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