18 Replies Latest reply on Jan 14, 2015 1:13 PM by mdconley57

    Why Did You Learn to Code?

    mlperry13

      To celebrate the Community’s December theme, Learn to Code, we are giving away a bundle of games to help your students do just that in fun and creative ways! The prize bundle includes 3 Day and Night logic games (ages 3-6), 3 Color Code games (ages 5+), and 3 Robot Turtles coding game (ages 4-15).


      Robot Turtles.JPGEntering to win is easy! Do you know how to code? Don’t worry, if you don’t—you’re eligible, too! Tell us when and why you learned to code (or alternatively, why you would want your students to know how to code) and you’ll be entered to win! If you’re feeling in a particularly sharing mood, tell us about a coding project you or your students completed that you are particularly proud of and what tools you used. One lucky qualifying winner will be selected at random on December 31st to win the prize! We can't wait to hear from you!

       

      Now for a little entertainment, check out Google’s Made with Code project for some holiday coding fun! And don’t forget to view our coding blog and Engage Birthday Bash activities, and share some community highlights from 2014.








      Share your story between now and December 31 to be entered in the drawing. This drawing will only become active when a minimum of 10 participants respond, which means in some cases, the drawing will take place after the above mentioned date. To get the full fine print on Intel Engage Sweepstakes Drawings eligibility and regulations, click the Bunnyman below.

      bunnyatwork.jpg

        • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?
          Bonnie Feather

          What fun! I know there are many Engage members out there who do some coding and they may not even realize it! You don't need to know how to write a complete website in code to participate in this discussion and many others. Take a look at Deb Norton's video to jog your memory and see a couple of sites which may help you get started coding with your students.

           

          I got started coding when computers required it! In my first grade classroom, we had an Apple IIe. (Yes, I'm a dinosaur!) We had to enter a couple of DOS commands to get started, and there weren't any real apps or even the Internet to work with much. It was an exciting time.

           

          I began working with Logo for my first graders. They enjoyed moving the turtle around. It was fun to see their learning in login and linear thinking. In order to facilitate more spiral thinking, and what I might call 3D thinking, I wanted them to write code to animate some figures they could create. They ate it up, and a few students worked together to create animated (well, not as we currently think of animation!!!) "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories. That meant they had to create the figures, create their stories along with a story map to allow for the readers' choices, and write the code on the "reverse" side of each page, and keep track of all the possibilities. I'm still impressed that they could do it with the tools at hand.

           

          As a member of the district's technology committee, we soon got some LegoLogo kits for our school district. Each school received some kits, and these were used to build then program and control Lego creations. After that, we were off and running. From Logo, we moved to Scratch and other coding methods. (There are several great sites on the web offering help with Scratch. Here is another, and yet another.)

           

          I think every student needs to learn some coding! It's not just for Geeks and Nerds any more! Spend a bit of time here in the community and you can find some great information and suggestions!

           

          ~Bonnie

            • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?
              lloder

              I first learned computer programming way back in the 'dark ages'; the early years, when the computer took up the basement of the college science building, and you had to reserve time to use the one keyboard to enter your program and see if it would run! I taught students how to do Basic and design 'animations' that were a series of commands that turned the pixels on the green CRT screen on and off to simulate movement on the screen. It was such fun! Now we've jumped ahead decades, from Basic and Pascal to learning JavaScript and Python on code.org - and I'm having so much fun watching kids at all grade levels get tuned in to new thinking skills by using simple tutorials online, and getting skilled with Scratch and Alice.

            • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?
              ProfWhitby

              Why have I decided to learn how to code:  I am very interested in course design and gaming.  I use softwares that allow me to create interactions without having to know how to code.  As I get deeper into my creative ideas, I am becoming more curious about particle systems, actions, etc.  I want to know how they are created. 

               

              Some of my coding activities:  Recently, I took a coding course on Lynda.com.  "HTML5 Game Development with Phaser"  The process was fun, even when I had no idea what I was doing.  (smile)  Over the winter break, I will repeat the lessons to get more practice.

               

              I am also closely following the Hour of Code activities on Twitter and will spend a lot of time on http://www.code.org  I'm sure there are some activities that I can eventually integrate into my online Business Law I and II courses.

               

              Smiling,

               

              ~Annette

               

              Twitter handle:  @3DTwinz

              #hourofcode

              • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?

                Photo on 12-12-14 at 12.07 PM.jpgI started coding back in the mid-80's on my Kaypro 2x CPM-based "transportable." I programmed a couple games in that platform from a book I still have. I still have the machine, mostly just a piece of art atop my office bookcase. Years ago I played around with Scratch with my 4th graders at a private school, and I've done a little scripting, mostly reverse engineering, in Linden Lab's Second Life scripting language, LSL--in both Second Life and Open Simulator. I've done a LOAD of html over the years, and I just discovered CodeCombat, really fun and certainly something I would share with young'uns. Try it!

                 

                All that said, I'm not really a coder, unless you count my html. I admire those who are and I'm thankful that they're out there. Otherwise my level 85 Blood Elf in World of Warcraft would not have a life!

                 

                Cheerio, all!

                Scott

                  • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?
                    glen_w

                    Scott,

                     

                    Like you, coding for me has been an experience. I've done a little coding - my main experience has been coding html. I'm a true <geek> at heart </geek>. Some webpages cause me to read their code - just to learn how it was done. I think you can count html as coding.

                  • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?
                    holmesg

                    I learned to code in the early 80s on a Radio Shack TRS-80.  I had to code to get the turtle through a maze.  I had 4 computers and a class of eager students. We began with simple projects I created and evolved into student created projects.  How excited was I when I received an email from one of those students telling me because of me and that class, he was working on wall street!  That one email has been the best reward that I have ever received during my entire career as an educator!

                      • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?
                        glen_w

                        Gail - love the email comment, it reminds me ... "for everything else, there's MasterCard."

                          • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?
                            holmesg

                            Glen,

                            It is not often that we hear thank you from our students after they have graduated from college and have started their careers.  How surprised I was when I received an email from my student inquiring if he had found the right Mrs. Holmes and that he was looking for me to say thank you!  I have the email framed in my office of a reminder that in spite of the negative remarks about teachers, we do make a difference!

                              • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?
                                glen_w

                                Gail, I would be surprised if any words spoken by politicians come close to how that email must make you feel.

                                 

                                Thanks so much for sharing an inspiring story with us.

                                 

                                Let's add to this - please share any positive comments you have heard from former teachers that were a "thank you" for teaching them.

                          • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?

                            Hi..I want to join the contest, but I'm not familiar with the "CODE"..Is That a classroom strategy?Thank you..

                            • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?
                              jbarberdoyle

                              Back in the day, I was writing machine code routines to test 4-bit slice 6502 microprocessor minicomputers made by Sperry-Univac.  That was hex code, and I had a hexadecimal clock in my room for the longest time. It was great fun to watch the students decode the time from a 4-bit clock.  Thinking.  The same processor was used on the first Apple ][ with its ROM-imbedded BASIC.  The Apple ][ was too expensive for me, so my first foray into software coding was with Basic and a "build it yourself" Sinclair 1000 computer using a Zilog Z80 microprocessor.  This kind of coding is "instant feedback" because there was no compiler.  That made the puzzle part really interesting and concrete.  Just REM out pieces of the subroutines until the thing works and then fix it.  The Sinclair, like the Apple ][, was really cool because it had neat 5V I/O channels that you could use to turn external devices on and off.  Just build up some simple switching circuits and away you go.  Anyway, all that simplicity was lost in college with Fortran, Pascal and C.   I am not a programmer, and I worked for over 2 decades in Manufacturing Engineering before becoming a teacher.  But I worked across disciplinary lines frequently in my career, and do so now in my teaching.  I am a science teacher and lead a Linked Learning pathway in Environmental Science.  My students need to learn how to code for the various control systems that are vital to monitoring and managing natural resources.  It's not just about sticking a bit of test paper into the water any more.  And I am excited at the potential to engage my students in authentic and unique problem-solving situations.  Whew.  I could go on and on.

                              • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?

                                Hello! Is coding really a mind blowing activity?  Does it require much time? I want to learn basics from it..but i do not know where i should start or what are the first few steps...

                                  • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?
                                    jbarberdoyle

                                    Coding can be the most fun you have ever had, or it can be pure torture.  If you enjoy puzzles and problem-solving, you will like coding.  Most people start with come device that will respond to your commands, like a simple robot.  Even working in HTML is coding.  There are tons of resources on the web.  The only way to start is to start...

                                  • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?

                                    Code help our mind to organize the ideas, to make tasks in a simple way. That is why, Learn how to code, is about Learn how to think.

                                    By coding you are involve in a game of mind strategy. I used to teach Science for Elementary School and High School, I used to teach

                                    my student Flow Chart Diagrams and Algorithm Design, for many Process involved in Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and Technology.

                                    • Re: Why Did You Learn to Code?
                                      mdconley57

                                      Happy belated New Year! We have a winner for this drawing. Congrats to lloder Linda Loder! Jennifer Reed from my team will reach out to you soon to collect the information we need to get you your prize.

                                       

                                      Thanks to all who participated!