As you prepare for next week’s global Hour of Code, I wanted to offer a few more resources for those of you who might still be trying to decide whether or not to participate.
- Ashley Cronin has written a nice article for Edutopia that summarizes resources for the Hour of Code and beyond. One of the many helpful tools you will find is the slide show of “Best Practices for Educators.”
- Brian Aspinall explains the benefits of using coding to teach numeracy and literacy in “Unplugging the Hour of Code.”
- In his iPad Monthly – Coding Edition, Paul Hamilton offers several step-by-step programming lessons for the iPad using various apps. (Tickle app, which is currently unavailable in the iTunes store is one of the apps, but there are a few others as well.)
- Totally overwhelmed by all of these suggestions? Try this Hour of Code Tutorial Picker from TEALS.
- I’ve found that parents are more than willing to volunteer. Even if they don’t have programming experience, the parents can help students navigate to tutorials, read instructions, or troubleshoot computer issues. Local businesses are often interested in helping out, too.
- Putting students into pairs helps to reduce the number of devices needed as well as reducing the number of calls for help. You can also ask older students to be “buddies” with younger ones.
- One of my colleagues and I have “The Rule of Threes.” The students must try to problem-solve on their own for at least three minutes, then ask three other students before the teacher. If one student is asked for advice three times, he or she is “frozen,” meaning no one else can keep that student from accomplishing the task by asking for advice. This helps them to become more self-reliant and collaborate with others instead of asking us – who actually don’t know the answers either. I’m thinking of adding, “Three for free and then you lose the key,” so they can’t ask for help more than three times. And it rhymes, which is cool. But that might be carrying the “threes” theme a bit too far… Maybe.