What does it mean for your students to be computer literate?
Is it enough for our students to simply know how to use a computer, or should they be able to also ”get under the hood?” Educators across the country and around the globe are beginning to teach children the basics of coding, beginning as early as first grade. Many in the field believe that coding is set to become this generation’s critical literacy—the same way the “three R’s” transformed education in the last century.
Coding has obvious applications in mathematics –students can learn important skills identified in the Common Core State Standards– representation, reasoning and communication. Because the process is often collaborative, it can be a great way to incorporate interacting with peers around solving a problem. The process of testing, de-bugging, and problem solving a program can also encourage students to use precise language in their mathematics learning.
Beyond building your students’ math skills, working with common computer coding programs can be a great way to incorporate more Universal Design for Learning principles into your instruction, Use a program like MIT’s Scratch to help your students create their own unique ways of representing information or telling a story. Have your students plan, draft, and revise a narrative that they then turn into a video game!
Here are some links to get you started: