Week 6

EDET 678 Week 6 What are the compelling arguments both for and against computer coding in schools?

There are many pros and cons to computer coding in schools. “Coding is said by some, is the new literacy,” (Trucano, 2014). When I think about coding, I think about entering numbers, equations, data, etc., into the computer, and whatever codes you input, the computer will generate a response. I was a biller after high school in a hospital, and it had to do a lot with entering patient’s visits- codes. I hated it, and I’m glad this type of coding isn’t that.

“Learning how to code means a child can create an educational tool to help them learn, an imaginary world to play in or just create useful software that makes life easier… all from a child’s perspective,” (Singh, 2015). According to Harrell, “Learning the fundamentals of coding provides students with skills that will serve them well in virtually any career they choose.” Coding is the ability to make tablets and computers do useful things (Harrell, 2015).

So what are the pros and cons of coding?

Pros (Trucano, 2014)

  • Help students acquire vocational skills that are immediately relevant to today’s job market.
  • Helps develop important logic and problem-solving skills.
  • Helps students better understand the nature of the world around them, and how and why increasing parts of it function as they do.
  • Can serve as a gateway to subsequent study of STEM topics, and possibly lead to jobs and careers in related fields.
  • Enables creativity and creative expression.

Cons (Ronan, 2016)

  • Replaces teachers
  • Distracting
  • Easier access to others’ work
  • Disparity of access outside of class
  • Privacy

 

Some of the cons I’ve come up with are: the teacher is not open to educational technology; teacher is non-tech savvy, no support from other teachers, administration or parents, and problems with Internet connectivity in and outside of school.

I think coding is something I can get into. I would love to try it in my classroom.

Resources:

Harrell, M. (2015, March 17). Add Coding to Your Elementary Curriculum. . . Right Now. Retrieved June 20, 2016, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/add-coding-elementary-curriculum-now-matt-harrell

Ronan, A. (2016, April 26). The Pros and Cons of Technology in the Classroom. Retrieved June 20, 2016, from http://www.edudemic.com/education-technology-pros-cons/

Singh, L. (2015, June 7). Kids can rule in code-writing world if given right tools. Retrieved June 20, 2016, from http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/kids-who-code-why-the-app-store-will-soon-be-dominated-by-young-developers-20150602-ghetgt

Trucano, M. (2014, August 12). Should All Students Learn How to Code? Pros and Cons. Retrieved June 20, 2016, from http://www.wise-qatar.org/coding-cognitive-abilities-michael-trucano

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Week 6

  1. I am in agreement of your comment about the teacher not being very tech savvy and a lack of support from both their district and/or parents as another negative in the world of coding. I am not very tech savvy however, I am willing to learn. My hope is this issue becomes more of a positive and those teachers want to put in the time to attend some of the free resources out there, if coding is something they would like to tackle but are maybe just a little nervous about it. The article at ww.edutopia.org/blog/add-coding-elementary-curriculum-now-matt-harrell we were shown in class is a short but good place to start. Using a bulleted list sure makes your pros/cons easy to read. Thank you for posting.

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  2. In some ways it seems it would have to be a district initiative, to incorporate into elementary thoughtfully and systematically, or else teachers would be doing it sporadically in their individual classrooms. Thats a great start, but just that.

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  3. According to our reading assignments, it seems like Scratch is the best elementary school based coding program out there. Very easy to use. You should try to use it and report to us later next school year! I am going to try something as well in high school. Don’t know if I will use TI graphing calculators, or Chromebooks that I have a class set of. (I am really lucky to have admin that encourages the use of technology in the class!) It really helps to have administration on board with technology. I hope your district encourages this too. Get a classroom set of simple tablet devices, or use your existing computers more. Start doing it!

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  4. I had to go back and check the reference on the Ronan article about how teaching coding could replace teachers. It likened teaching to agriculture or auto mechanics. I am not able to see that teachers in the classroom will actually be replaced in the future. I think that if a district were behind a big push for technology and had the supports in place to be sure the technology component ran smoothly, coding could be a great asset to any educational program.

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  5. Genevieve,

    I think your list of cons is spot on. The main obstacle I see is that teachers aren’t comfortable a enough or don’t know enough about coding, and won’t have the necessary supports to increase or start using coding in their classrooms. I will admit coding scares me, just because I don’t know much about it, and I worry about the amount of time it will take to learn enough to feel comfortable teaching my students.

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