Professional Learning | Empower Teachers
Professional Learning

Programming and Coding

Programming and coding teach many skills from basic to advanced math, thinking, analyzing, and applying. Many of the kits in the previous section of this course require students to use basic coding skills to design simple to complex projects. Below are several coding sites that are a great place to start as a teacher or a student. 

1. Scratch from MIT is a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations. It is pretty intuitive for students to learn. 

  • The Makey Makey, Raspberry Pi, and the Lego WeDo kits use the Scratch language to extend what these tools can do. 
  • Students are able to create a program in Scratch and use the commands to run the Raspberry Pi, Makey Makey etc. 
  • The student should create an account in Scratch so that they are able to save their project. 
  • There are amazing step-by-step tutorials on the Scratch website for students to use to create animations, art, music, games, etc. 
  • Watch this video to see how you combine Scratch and Makey Makey to change an image. 

        

2. Code.org links to the Hour of Code and has many tutorials and sample projects. Started in 2003 as a non-profit, the goal is to increase diversity in computer science by reaching students of all backgrounds where they are — at their skill-level, in their schools, and in ways that inspire them to keep learning. Each of the images below takes you to an activity. 

                star wars 

3. The Hour of Code is an event that takes place each year for one week in December but it is not limited to that week if you missed it. There are tutorials for ages 4-104 teaching basic coding skills.

4. Take the Learn at Your Own Pace course Coding in the Classroom through REMC when it is available. The course goes into depth about several different coding websites and programming languages. 


Next Steps:

Your next step if you have not done so yet is to choose a kit and learn how to use it. If you have time, and it is compatible with Scratch you may want to try and create a Scratch project that will run your Makey Makey for example.  

After you have played, it is time to make and create! The sky is the limit. You can create a musical instrument, a game controller, artwork, and much more. You can create code on code.org and share it with your students. 

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