The Easiest Ways to Introduce Coding into the Elementary School Classroom
There’s little doubt that the future of our world is based on code. Whether that’s through the technology we use or the data companies and governments gather to make decisions on what’s best for their users and citizens, the world will soon be run on code and AI.
To give our children the tools to understand the world, and the tools they may need to gain meaningful employment, we need to start introducing them to code as early as possible. Fortunately, there are a lot of great resources you can use to introduce coding into your classroom, so let’s take a look at 4 ways to do so:
1. An Hour of Code
We aren’t the only organization that believes children need to learn to code almost as early as they learn to write – Google and Code.org are also onboard. They both offer programs they call an “Hour of Code”, where they offer teachers easy ways to teach their classes how to code, with no more than a computer with an internet connection. Google has one program, but if you want a big choice and a lot more than just one hour of lessons, an Hour of Code has more lessons than you’ll ever need.
Codeacademy is another platform that gamifies coding to help kids learn the basics. While many schools are starting to introduce coding as part of their curriculum, not all have. Fortunately, organizations like Codeacademy make it easy for forward-looking teachers to introduce coding to their students as early as possible.
Not every school is equipped with a suite of computers – but it is still possible to teach computer science without one. How? One way is to use the resources provided by CS Unplugged. They provide a well or resources for teachers that help them teach coding through games and puzzles that don’t require a computer. Instead, they use cards, string, crayons, and lots of running around. If you’re short for computers but have outside space, this can be the perfect way for you to bring computer science into the classroom.
Another company that is providing children with the resources they need to learn coding (and specifically in this instance, game development), is Bloxels. Bloxels removes the need to provide children with expensive equipment and replaces it with a gameboard, some blocks, and a mobile device (such as a tablet). Bloxels is a board that allows children to build games and tell stories with the board, by creating pixel art with the blocks. Once they’ve finished creating their games, they can share the experience with the other children in the classroom.
If you’re determined to bring the future into the classroom today, there are plenty of ways to do so, as long as you are willing to be resourceful – above are just some of the options we found that are available, and you should always be on the lookout for new low-cost ways to bring coding into your classroom.