I have done about 15% of the codecademy course on Python. I plan to speed up a bit when I am on summer holidays and need to find something to do when it is really hot. I don’t suffer from the heat but you do need to stay inside and you do need things to take your mind off it sometimes. Coding is perfect because it is very absorbing. I have just completed the date/time section. I have done some syntax basics and then some strings. Coding has reminded me I have to be totally perfect ,exceedingly accurate and meticulous. There is no margin for error, no room for mistakes and it teaches me to be utterly logical and pay attention to detail. It really is all in the detail. One colon in the wrong place and it all falls apart. Confuse a colon with a full stop and it all falls apart. Codes simply will not work unless you have them perfectly accurate. Codecademy teaches that really well. At this stage I am taking small steps, am being guided and then encouraged to think for myself so I can put the learning to work. I could do with an easy look up menu to check certain aspects of coding. I need a glossary or menu so I can see quickly how to set the code. If I did it on a more regular basis some things would stick better because it is about habit and repetition. I cannot do that yet . I am happy with the fact codecademy puts each lessons in a small package so there is not too much to take on in any one sitting and it means I can still pursue it when I am busy. That is important with coding. It is easy to get swamped until you are on familiar ground and so gently getting yourself into it is a good approach in my opinion.
Image: Concerns checklist
If you have read my blog you will know I am not overly fond of online training. The packages we have had for different purposes have been arduous and mind numbing even though the information has been critical and important. So it has always been something to be endured. This year’s RAN training by our South Australian Department of Education had obviously listened to feedback and had delivered a package which was really worthwhile and almost perfectly executed. The voice reading every word is necessary for those who process information aurally but this time there was the option of turning it off. I find someone reading text slows me down too much and frustrates me. What was so good about this online package?
1. It was current. it looked at and explained the Debelle inquiry . We needed to be properly informed about that.
2. Everything which was discussed had some excellent links and sources to be followed up.
3. The videos were very pointed and were by people in real jobs with real experience and might have been people we knew.
4. The case study on Jason was powerful. The slides from that should be made into posters. The clarity and deconstruction of that case was impressive.
5. It covered the basics in a direct, straight forward way.
6. The exercises had some credible examples.
7. There were curly questions to make you think.
8. The progression was reasonable.
9. The balance of reading, listening and interacting was almost right. I’d say make it a bit more interactive.
10. The forms and process were there.
When you get professional training like that delivered online you feel like you have spent the time well and have been given a chance to update your knowledge and skills in a well organised manner. Online training needs to set a tone and this RAN package showed care, concern and an awareness that , as teachers, we needed to be effectively informed about current information, reminded about general practice and then have an opportunity to think further. It also ensured we had all the relevant documents at hand.
Creatubbles is a safe online site for students/children to share their creative and artistic skills. There is teacher support on the site too. That is all I can say. You need to take a look and see if it suits your purposes.
Codecademy is free and for anyone who wants to learn coding. The courses are self-paced and you cannot move onto the next lesson until you have mastered the first. The content is delivered in small , manageable pieces so that you never feel swamped and each lesson has a hint section so you can master what you are doing if you get stuck. There is no assumed knowledge and the content is put onto the screen in a very clear way so that you don’t feel like you are swamped by information. At the completion of each section you are awarded a badge. There are plenty of coding choices and so it is a very good place to start to learn coding and it is a site students could easily use to build their coding knowledge without any sort of assessment pressure as such. The badges and the fact you can progress to the next lesson tell you that you are making progress so the positive feedback is built in. So far, it’s the site where I feel the most comfortable and feel like I can learn at my own pace and in my own way.
I have completed my first Udemy Course – Coding for Entrepreneurs Basic by Justin Mitchel. To get the certificate you have to listen to every single part of the course. It’s the one I decided to do to get myself back into coding, to give me a framework and to create some learning challenges for me. It has achieved all of that. Justin Mitchel explains everything, he shows you everything, he works through the glitches, he offers learning suggestions and everything is on video , thank heavens, so you can pause and absorb. I explained in my post How’s the coding going? that I had stalled with the action part of the course because I couldn’t sync the database and runserver. I then had to think. Do I give up all I have learned? Do I just abandon it and leave it behind and start something new? Do I regroup and start all over again? What do I do? I left it for a while and started working on learning Python coding so I could understand that better. I shifted all my coding stuff to my LinuxMint laptop. I could move forward. Udemy was meanwhile sending me gentle reminders I had not finished the course. Was I going to start from scratch again? What was my plan? I decided to finish the course and get the whole context in front of me and now I have done that I can move forward. Justin Mitchel goes through a lot of HTML stuff for web pages and explains it well and why you need to put it where you put it. I understand all that HTML coding far better now. He shows the FTPing and getting the site working live, and my decision is to leave that for now. I am going to go back over it on my Linux Laptop and try to resolve the database syncing and get the page running virtually. Justin Mitchell recommends some good sites to learn coding better so I need to have a look at that. I need to specifically work with the Django tutorials on their site and then, I shall be in a good frame of mind to start over and work it all through. As a student I have learned a lot and have had to use my brain to troubleshoot and work out what is a plan for me. The course is there, I can use it, I can learn from it and I can benefit from it. The best thing it has done for me is provide structure to my learning , give me insight and offer opportunities for me to construct my own learning. I can sit down and work out my personal learning plan now and go back to the course to iron out the bits which I couldn’t put into action.