GoldieBlox Coding App Launch

 

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Since being introduced to GoldieBlox I have been following the action. Today I came across this new little App. GoldieBlox has grown from a Kickstarter campaign and is now a massive hit in the US. There is a whole marketing campaign around GoldieBlox where stores such as Toys ‘R’ Us and Target are selling building sets aimed to promote and encourage young girls to become involved in STEM.

GoldieBlox: Adventures in Coding follows the coding concept of problem-solving pathways to get from A to B. GoldieBlox helps with learning the fundamental concepts of coding. It has over 20 levels of puzzles. There is the ability, to use the variables, to code your own game. The App is aimed to build confidence and empower girls although boys would love this app as well!

Related Article:

Toymaker GoldieBlox Launches Coding App for Girls as Young as 4

Links to Curriculum:

This Apps is new on the market. Once I have explored it I’ll post the links.

Check back soon 🙂

 

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PencilCode

Have you seen PencilCodePencilCode is a collaborative programming site for drawing art, playing music, and creating games. It is also a place to experiment with mathematical functions, geometry, graphing, webpages, simulations, and algorithms. Programs are open for everyone to see and copy. This is a way to explore different types of code such as CSS, HTML and javascript. PencilCode is open source to allow flexibility in the way it can be used.

PencilCode guides teachers with their teacher materials page. This page enables  to teachers to look at ways in which they can embrace the use ofPencilCode in their class with their students. It includes online and offline activities.

This programme suits students who want to take their coding further. This is a full functioning programming platform where students can create games, music or joust enjoy some drawing.

PencilCode uses Coffeescript which software engineers use to build complex websites.

 

Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

PencilCode covers all areas of the Digital Technology curriculum for years 5 and up

The following concepts are covered in this program across the curriculum for Years 5 and up

Mathematics
Sequencing, lines, angles, shape, variables, algorithm, branching, iteration, time, calculating, arrays, conditional, reasoning, cartesian coordinates, measurements, directions

Literary
Reading, navigating, explanation,  instructions, directions, cause and effect, predict

The Arts
Creating, designing, composition, manipulating elements and combinations, conceptualise

Critical and Creative Thinking
Criteria, investigate, reason, visual models, thinking processes, propose, strategize

Science
Hypothesis, predict, variables, range of representation, graph, patterns, relationships, test, trial, error, record, methods, cause and effect

LEGO

There are many ways to use LEGO to help students understand different elements of code on and offline. The creation of patterns and sequences can help students to problem solve and think logically. LEGO is great because it can be used in multiple ways. Students can enjoy the hands-on experience of exploring their creativity and making their designs. They can use LEGO with robotic where students build and use a program to make their design move. Students can use LEGO to create animations allowing them to discover how to use a series of short steps to achieve an effective outcome.

I personally love Build with Chrome and LEGO Builder (Chromestore App). Both of these programs allow students to build and share their designs beyond the school. Students can even choose a design to copy if they just want to focus on the problem solving around building. Even though these ideas do not include specfic coding using loops and repetition the art of problem solving and creativity still uses the concepts of computational thinking.

On the other hand you could instruct a partner to recreate what you have built using the coding language and algorithms. Have students show their thinking through using branches to show how they created a design. The possibilities are endless!!!

LEGO also have various iPad Apps.

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Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Foundation – Year 2

  • Recognise and explore patterns in data and represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams (ACTDIK002)
  • Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)
  • Create and organise ideas and information using information systems independently and with others, and share these with known people in safe online environments (ACTDIP006)

Years 5 and 6

  • Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps,branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019)
  • Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022)

Code Club Australia

When starting a Code Club why not use program that is already scripted and easy to follow. Code Club Australia has developed resources that are designed for teachers to pick up and go for it in their classroom. It is important that the understanding is there for teachers and that they are not just teaching word by word from an instruction manual.

Teachers can get a bit lost so it is important whenever starting a code club and using the materials that teachers have a go first and try to make sense of coding.Code Club uses different tools to help students learn to code in different ways such as Scratch and Python for more advanced sessions.

Code Club Australia believe learning to code is an important skill that we need, living in a digital age. Children should know how code works and  that learning to code strengthens problem-solving skills and logical thinking, and supports subjects such as science, maths and technology.

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Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Foundation – Year 2

  • Recognise and explore digital systems (hardware and software components) for a purpose (ACTDIK001)
  • Recognise and explore patterns in data and represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams (ACTDIK002)
  • Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)

Years 3 and 4

  • Identify and explore a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data (ACTDIK007)
  • Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)
  • Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them
  • Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)

Years 5 and 6

 

 

Scratch

With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.

Scratch is designed especially for ages 8 to 16, but is used by people of all ages. Millions of people are creating Scratch projects in a wide variety of settings, including homes, schools, museums, libraries, and community centers. Scratch is integrated into many other coding programs. This is a great program to use for Code Club.

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Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Foundation – Year 2

  • Recognise and explore digital systems (hardware and software components) for a purpose (ACTDIK001)
  • Recognise and explore patterns in data and represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams (ACTDIK002)
  • Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)
  • Create and organise ideas and information using information systems independently and with others, and share these with known people in safe online environments (ACTDIP006)
  • Collect, explore and sort data, and use digital systems to present the data creatively (ACTDIP003)

Years 3 and 4

  • Identify and explore a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data(ACTDIK007)
  • Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)
  • Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them
  • Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)
  • Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems (ACTDIP009)
  • Explain how student solutions and existing information systems meet common personal, school or community needs (ACTDIP012)

Years 5 and 6

Code.org

Code.org was launched in 2013. It is non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science. Their vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. They believe that computer science should be part of core curriculum, alongside other courses such as biology, chemistry or algebra.

Code.org is a great program for starting code club. It is self-directed and can be managed by a teacher or coach. The website has scripted teacher support lessons and more importantly makes many links to offline as much as online activities. The program focus’ a lot on learning the language that is needed when using code.Code.org initiated and host ‘Hour of Code’ each year, constantly releasing new ideas to get students involved.

This program starts for 5 years old and is suitable for all ages. When working with students at a higher level there are options here to learn about scripts.

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Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Foundation – Year 2

  • Recognise and explore digital systems (hardware and software components) for a purpose (ACTDIK001)
  • Recognise and explore patterns in data and represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams (ACTDIK002)
  • Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)

Years 3 and 4

  • Identify and explore a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data(ACTDIK007)
  • Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)
  • Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them
  • Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)

Years 5 and 6

 

Run Marco

Run Marco has been developed by Google and is used by Code.org. It is an endless adventure game that teaches computer programming concepts such as sequence of commands, iteration and conditions, functions and algorithms. This game is aimed at middle levels and higher as the concepts become more difficult to process.  The game can be used to look at the how we use computational thinking to problem solve and use critical thinking skills. Looking at the code that has been developed from the movements of the characters helps students to visualise what this might look like. Data is represented in different ways including characters, numbers, letters and symbols.

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Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Years 3 and 4

  • Identify and explore a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data(ACTDIK007)
  • Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)
  • Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them

Years 5 and 6

 

Blockly

Blockly

Blockly Games is a Google project to encourage tomorrow’s programmers. The games are designed to be self-paced and self-teaching. Blockly Games is a series of educational games that teach programming. It is designed for children who have not had prior experience with computer programming. By the end of these games, players are ready to use conventional text-based languages. This games is suited for all levels and abilities as it starts basic and gets harder as the student progresses. The use of whole numbers to move the objects across the page could be particularly explored in higher levels as well as introducing referencing. The game uses different coding for movements and displays this at the end. It also displays the data that was created that made the object move showing how data transfer.images

blockly

 

Chromebook, iPad, Tablet, Apple Mac

 

 

Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Foundation – Year 2

  • Recognise and explore digital systems (hardware and software components) for a purpose (ACTDIK001)
  • Recognise and explore patterns in data and represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams (ACTDIK002)
  • Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)

Years 3 and 4

  • Identify and explore a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data(ACTDIK007)
  • Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)
  • Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them

Years 5 and 6