According to Scratch Junior “coding is the new literacy” and I couldn’t agree more. Many of us (children and adults alike) are mere consumers of content – constantly linked to our devices to absorb information.
This is why one of my personal goals as an educator is to get even the youngest to start coding so that they can envision themselves as creators of content as well – actively manipulating their devices to suit their purpose and to tell their story – giving even our youngest learners a “digital voice.”
My experience is based on a refinement of my coding After-School Activity (ASA) offered in the spring of 2016. During that ASA my grade 2 students basically explored Tynker and Scratch Jr. at a surface level and had a great time. However, reflecting back I wanted the experience to be a little bit more meaningful for my students in the sense that I wanted them to contribute in a positive way to their digital footprint and so I decided to frame the challenge around the learner profile.
Basically the instructions I gave were simply to use Scratch Junior as a platform with which to “code” what an ICS learner should look like, and this is what they came up with so far …
A quick how-to: I used 1 iPad per student with the Scratch Junior app installed. Then I used Quicktime to record the screencast of the iPad (unfortunately there is no easy way to actually share the projects as videos in the native iOS Scratch Jr. app). Finally, I uploaded the screencast videos to YouTube for sharing with parents.
The students in the ASA felt very proud of “being published” on YouTube. – if you like what you see please give them a shout-out. Thanks!