Coding in the Classroom: Does it belong?

I really enjoyed playing with the LOGO program. Unlike Michael, I had never been exposed to a coding program before. I managed to get to exercise 16 without any real trouble. I enjoyed the challenge!

Capturer 2018-10-03 11_00_48
Look at me go!

Even though I was able to complete each task successfully, any time it asked me to simplify the program, I was not able to. I jumped to exercise 25, where it asks you to write a program to draw squares. I played with it for a very long time and could not figure it out. I knew how to draw the square, but I couldn’t create a code that would draw out a square of a certain size. Maybe I shouldn’t have skipped ahead…

justin timberlake bad idea GIF

Giphy

The whole time I was coding, I was thinking about how much my students would enjoy trying out this program. I agree with Sapna, who says that Logo programming can enhance students’ mathematical skills. In my Foundations of Mathematics 20 class, I could use it to demonstrate the sine law, including the ambiguous case. I was very happy to see that the program is available in French!

Capturer 2018-10-08 09_33_36
There are a lot of really great programs that are offered in english, but not in french. I was very happy to see that this one was offered in multiple languages. Win!

 

Sonja Goby tweeted about an interesting article on the benefits of coding for children. I must admit that I had no idea these programs existed for people who were not coding professionally. In this article, the author shares reasons why kids should be learning to code, saying it prepares them for the world we live in today. Computers are a very important part of our world. We use them more and more in education, in our vehicles, in our appliances. It is becoming increasingly important to understand how to use computers, especially because of how quickly the way we use them changes. The author concludes the article by sharing a list of other coding programs that are available for children. There is a whole world of coding out there!

Constructionist learning allows students to experiment, while the teacher mediates rather than instructs. The first few exercises in the Logo program introduces users to basic commands that gradually become more complex. A first-time user like myself could not successfully complete the 75th task without having practiced the more basic skills. Papert’s theory of constructionism enables learning to be constructed, rather than transmitted. This allows students to have a more active role in their learning, and to use prior knowledge to acquire more knowledge. Brooke highlights some of the benefits of learning to code. Her blog response for this week made me wonder if coding should have a place in the mathematics curriculum. If we are aware of the multiple benefits of coding for children, it might be a good idea to start teaching it.

How would you incorporate coding in your mathematics classes?

Advertisements