We did something different this semester at Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School (ANCS) elementary campus - we introduced code.org Computer Science Fundamentals
We had been using Scratch’s sandbox approach to coding. Creativity and learning can go hand in hand, and Scratch allowed them to explore boundaries of what could be done while creating a game or animation. One project had everyone animating their names and no two name animations were the same.
Code.org courses are similar to classroom learning, structured with progression and lines of code monitoring. This provided\s the opportunity to more deeply explore computer coding concepts like loops, events, and conditionals. Everyone completed their course 2 weeks before the end of the session which allowed us to dive back into Scratch.
In all, 21,444 lines of code were generated by 29 ANCS Nerd Ninjas this semester. Several generated over 1,000 lines of code, with sushidog9 garnering top honors with over 3,000 lines of code. One young man whose username is burp49 (I let them select their own, another exercise in creativity) said “I get it now, I understand the commands in Scratch better so I can make a better game.” The connections allowed everyone to have a better experience in both platforms.
My journey began here with the wonderful family, students, and staff at ANCS. What I learned has been applied across Atlanta to engage young more people in computer coding and has challenged their Code Coaches to adapt, improve, and better serve our Nerd Ninjaz. Everyone can code, regardless of zip code. Combine that with a strong learning community, we can help our young people to be Future Ready with skills, knowledge and confidence.
Who wants Future Ready young people in your lives or in your organizations? Call or email to start the Future Ready conversation.
William H. Teasley, III, 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.