Posted on 19 March 2017
At a recent meeting parents asked to know more about coding
Following up the coffee meeting with Kirsty and Sarah.
Thank you all for coming along last week and sharing your ideas about "screen time.” Points made are very valid and we will consider them all as we move towards creating our own Taupo Primary School Curriculum.
The New Zealand government plan that digital technology will be fully integrated into the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa in 2018. Currently Taupo Primary uses digital technology as a tool to assist learning across the curriculum. We do not know yet what the Digital technology curriculum will be; whatever it is our school will adjust, amend and add processes that honour the New Zealand curriculum. As we develop the Taupo Primary School Digital Technology Curriculum we will also clarify our learning around "screen time,” and develop appropriate guidelines.
I notice in your conversation thread from the conversation thread in the coffee meeting that it was suggested that I do a Principal Blog about "coding.” I must say I approach this with humility- it is not my area of expertise but I’ll try to explain it.
Coding is writing a set of instructions that tells a computer what to do. Children can start learning to code very young and indeed do not need a computer to start to learn the skills. A game where a child directs another student to a given point is the beginning of coding. An example – Find a way to move Sally from the lunch bench to the goal post. The child giving the instructions must know the number of steps to take straight, the number of steps left and right and so on. Sequencing and accuracy are important or the student could end up across the road!
There are many simple tools for students to learn coding. I bought my grandchild his first robot – a bee bot which moves of simple instructions following arrows – forwards, backwards, left and right. A bit advanced for him, but he will get it. Have a look at the YouTube lesson below about the Bee Bot, it will help you understand coding.
And this clip is more specific about how Bee Bots work
If you would like to see students working with coding in our school I am sure some of our students would love to show you.
The YouTube clip below shows a more advanced class – same theory but more sophisticated.
I hope this blog has helped answer your questions about coding. If you have any more questions be sure to ask and we will get the information you need
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