This year has been fun so far with a full class of students! I started last year just by filling in for a friend, and I ended up loving it so much that I decided to stay and teach these students.
My goal for this year was to show the students everything about coding. Last semester, the students got a taste of what coding would be like because of the platform we were using. With a few minor adjustments of platforms things became more intense. Knowing that coding isn’t the most fun subject to learn, I have to make things more interesting than a regular class would be. The incentives are acknowledgement in front of the class, and small gifts are given for their efforts. When coding we can never assume who will be the best at complex tasks. This is proved by the new students in my class who enjoy coding and use the resources they have to maximize their coding potential. My assumption that the current students who have experience in coding from last semester would lead the class was completely turned upside down.
Knowing that the incentives were coming the following weeks, the students pushed hard to obtain badges from the coding platform. Once we recapped as a class, I noticed something that was different from previous classes. Most of the students were helping each other when they got into a problem, which is one of the things that I implement a lot in my class. Using your resources, especially when dealing with computers, is a vital way to understand a nd quickly process code. Some people consider coding an actual language – like a spoken language – which can be hard to learn much like a spoken language. The thing that shocked me the most is seeing a new student come into class and blow the competition out of the water. Most students refer to the good grades of the student as a railroad to his success in coding. Although this may contribute to some of his success, I believe he mastered the idea of using all of his resources. With three weeks of coding he beat everybody in the number of badges earned plus the percentage of the work that was done correctly. This mindset of “Do whatever it takes to be the best” can get the students far if technology is a career option.
Written by: Nigel Ray