Try something new with your students this year.
I normally don't like to create "click bait" blog post titles, but this one seemed to fit. Twenty-five resources can be overwhelming, but there is a good mix of different types of items. There are links to websites with lesson plans, iOS apps, books, videos, and samples of student work to fit your learning style.
Scratch was developed by MIT a little over eight years ago. It uses a visual programming language that is easy to start for students of all ages. Teachers can start with the Scratch Jr. app for the iPad. That app, linked on the list.ly below, is designed specifically for 5-7 year olds. The only way to learn new skills, is to dig in and give it a try. I love the summer for this reason. It gives me the chance to keep up and learn something new. I am going to try Minecraft with my daughter, Gwen, after I finish up this blog post.
I have talked with a few teachers at various professional developments about starting to code with students. A few of them admit that they don't even know what coding is. Coding is combining science and mathematical thinking to program a computer. A great aspect of using Scratch that you can test out your ideas and solve problems with immediate feedback. These problem solving skills help them learn by doing. Creating computer programs that can perform based on what the student commands it to do. I think Scratch is a good place to start because it's free, and there are so many examples you can learn from. Scratch has over 5 MILLION accounts and 7 MILLION projects created.
Special thanks to three people for inspiring me to create this list and use their ideas.
- Cori Araza @caraza - for teaching the Creating Games class and letting me mooch a bunch of her links. When I asked if I could take her links and make them into a list, she told me to go for it.
- Joel Wisser @joelwisser - he has a bunch of student work which I included on the list as well. You want to see student work, take a look at what he's done with students.
- Michael Bailey @up4edtech - Michael is Joel's co-worker in Arizona. I am adding him because I am sure he had a hand in helping Joel. Both of them are doing great things, and I think they need to share more on Twitter.