This year was my second year taking place in the #HourOfCode activites online. Last year was really a tentative dipping my toe into the water to see what it was like. This year, I was much more confident which flowed into my students who have all participated in the #hourOfCode to some extent. Hour of Code has been set up to be super simple for teachers to use and the videos and tutorial provided mean that students can move forward at their own pace. There is a variety of options to choose from – I had a lovely moment where a year 10 boy designed a frozen themed game for his little sister. It was AWESOME
The actual Hour of Code took my students between 35 minutes to the full hour depending on how confident they were. But as there was more than one option, there was plenty to do for early finishers.
The really good fun came around on the second lesson when students where designing their own games and sharing them with each other. They were having a great time playing each others games, making suggestions, going back and tweaking things and finding that simple is good – if you make it too complicated it isn’t as fun. It was also interesting to note that students who made games with cheats (eg you couldn’t die) found them less fun to play after a while, which lead to some interesting discussions around challenges, rewards and motivation. It also lead to some iteration as students tried there games and went back and changed things, it was awesome for them to see that you can learn from mistakes and adapt them.
So my students learned a lot, and I learned a lot about them. Not I am a bit more confident I am looking for ways to expand my learning around programming and coding so I can find ways to integrate it into my teaching and learning programs while still fitting into me ‘expected’ content teaching.