What do Nerd Ninjaz do when the computers are or internet is not working? We unplug.
I incorporate projects to get young people off the computers and interacting with each other to learn a specific computer science concept. Sometimes planned, sometimes not (like when the computers aren’t working at Grove Park Recreation Center) we get up and get interactive. Our young people are placed into small teams to on complete a task teaches coding concepts in the physical world.
The Grove Park Dojo had a ball playing My Robot. Young people (5th graders) gave commands (programmer) to a team member (2nd graders) (robot) in order to navigate the room to pick up a book from a table and return to their original spot. We learned that the ‘programmer’ giving the commands (code) was creating an algorithm (series of commands) to complete the task. Every team did an excellent job, successfully completed the task, and had fun doing My. Robot.
Learning computer science concepts and coding can be daunting. However, we leverage the playful side of learning so that our young people making significant strides in code learning. We are transitioning minds from “I can’t”, I don’t know”, “This is hard” to “I CAN”. Every young person should say I can in the face of challenges or pursuing an opportunity, plugged in or unplugged. If they do, things will change for the better for them and the rest of us. Connect with me to explore how you can be a part of the i.can movement.
William Teasley, Nerd Ninja Sensei, Higher Ground Education, Inc.
A blog for those working to refine the college access pipeline, create more opportunities to nurture future change agents, and mitigate the gaps.