As we continue to have conversations about coding in schools I routinely am asked where to start. I usually mention an app or two but I always question whether this is the right approach – many students already have a more natural understanding of coding than their teachers and I know nothing about someones’s skill level. I know nothing of someone’s experience. This makes it difficult to suggest a starting point when it comes to apps and entire groups of students. I hate to say “Let your entire class play LightBot for starters”. Where is the differentiation?
Starting day, I would like to share a new model I have created – #BOSC.
B – Bot Coding
Under Bot coding, teachers and students learn about block code. They run through games and tutorials to move objects from one point to another to complete a task. Levels are scripted, there is no open space, just a linked set of block code instructions to move a bot. A great place to model math concepts like estimating distance and moving across a grid.
O – Open Space Coding
In this category, coders are familiar with block code and understand how to link it. Using tools like ScratchJr., Hopscotch and Scratch coders can use block code to create games, stories and simulations. Possibilities are endless but coding modules are limited to the functions within the app itself.
S – Syntax Coding
Like Open Space Coding, users start with a blank slate and begin to think critically, solve problems and code applications using syntax. Coders at this level are learning language. The “Hello World” program you would learn in your first CS class. In a nutshell, similar to above but writing syntax instead of block yielding many more opportunities for creativity.
C – Collaborative Coding
Coders in this level have a firm understanding of syntax, computational thinking and logical reasoning. Coders at this level use existing frameworks and APIs to make improvements to existing applications. Coders at this level make use of open source and build applications. The Coder Ninja.
Please share the visuals below and as always, feel free to comment.