Why teach coding?

teach coding

 

This image was doing the rounds on the net earlier on the week and it was surprising how many teachers supported it. That said a lot. It means they do not feel comfortable with coding. Teaching code does not in any way mean that you ignore or replace other curriculum content, personal and social capabilities or wellbeing. As one of the people says in the video if you want to make money or you want to change the world then you need to learn coding. Coding is everywhere and in every part of our life. Healthcare is one of the biggest growth areas for IT development skills and programming skills. Coding is saving lives but we don’t currently have the source code to save the planet. Something to work on.

Kodables has a really good infographic as to why we should teach coding but it supports that with some very helpful downloadable materials to teach it. coding skillsEducational Technology and Mobile Learning

why learn coding

Why learn coding?

has looked at the skills students learn from coding . The video explains it all well, though, and teachers need to be able to find a level of comfort with teaching coding. That cartoon could not have been broadcast and shared on the internet without coding. Researchers collaborate across the planet to solve problems and develop ideas. All of that requires coding. Someone else in the video said that if someone had told her that software was about humanity she would have been able to approach coding in a better way earlier in her life.

coding joke

Tablet ergonomics

As with any other new technology it takes a while for research to be done and then the data to be analysed so we can put it to good use. There is now some solid research information available about tablet ergonomics, what to look out for, what to pay attention to and how to change your posture and usage so you are not putting unnecessary strain on different parts of your body. The ergonomics blog looks particularly at the problems which might occur for children and there is a lot of good information and sensible practice advised. It is important to notice children’s use of tablets and then help teach them the better way of going about using their tablets. digitaltrends look at the impact of the tablet on your neck which is the biggest area of concern. It’s important to get good information about tablet ergonomics so you can use it for yourself and then pass it on.

My new games

I have segames 2017ttled on my new games after a while of hunting around and looking. It has been quite an experience. I have Puzzle Craft on my iPad and that is a brain break game. It’s not very demanding but it is diverting for a while and gives me a chance just to stop and relax a bit. I used FarmScapes on the iPad but have since changed that to my desktop. It’s more demanding than Puzzle Craft but it’s  quite straight forward . The narrative isn’t bad and it includes hidden object and match 3 puzzles to do as well as a bit of farming. Stardew Valley I paid for and downloaded from Steam and it’s been a tough challenge. It doesn’t have support for my game controller and so I am doing everything with a keyboard. That was quite a learning curve. Those who play it on Play Station or X-Box can go so much faster. The pixilated art and retro look of the game are part of its charm. It has really challenged me, my thinking and how I go about games. It keeps me alert and it keeps my brain turning over. From that point of view it is having a big cognitive development impact. I can’t just play it. I have to work it all out. When I do anything there is a big sense of achievement for me because it is so different from anything else I have played. I have just downloaded and installed Anno2205  . I bought the discs thinking the game was on them but you get to download 19 Gb of data!! Could not believe it and it took hours. Lesson learned. I am playing that from the Ubisoft site when I want to but I can play offline. It’s the polar opposite of the other games. Totally high end graphics, total coolness and cutting edge performance. I was so worn out from downloading and installing it I have had hardly a chance to play. I was so glad I knit and crochet so I could get on with things as I monitored the installation. It is different but has the same themes as Stardew Valley. It centres on the environment , the impact of big corporations and sustainability but it comes at it from a different angle and that angle is visually very rich. This game will require me to step up and really sort out my thinking and game playing skills. All my games are designed to contribute to my learning and life and I am happy with my choices now. Taking on new games mean you have to adapt and learn to think outside your comfort zone. It’s a challenge in itself finding games which give you the sorts of challenges you need.

Habitica

HabiticaIt is week 3 of my trial and Habitica now is easy for me to use and I can manage it according to my needs. I am feeding 3 pets to see what happens. I still haven’t felt the need to be part of the questing and gaming aspect of Habitica. You have to be part of a party (group) to follow quests. The idea is they will set you quests to help you or you participate in quests to help yourself. It is all about achieving your goals and improving your life. If the wolf is part of my avatar it is because I am a bit of a lone wolf. You can’t do quests alone or just for yourself and be responsible for your own achievements. This is why the gaming aspect holds no real interest for me. I don’t actually need another layer of involvement to get things done. Others are finding it highly motivating and are loving it and have enjoyed participating in the social, challenging aspect of Habitica. Habitica itself puts out some good quests and challenges to help keep people real, honest and prepared to tackle the tough side of not achieving. It is really noticeable just how much Habitica does to encourage people to do a reality check and then find the tools, quests and people who will help them move forward and upward. It is a very positive, can do approach which is established. I am automatic now in how I organise things and I have shifted some of that stuff to OneNote into tabs so I can follow my project based way of achieving my goals. I really need a pending list and wishlist. Habitica, though, reminds me every day of how much I can and do achieve and so I don’t fall victim to the mindset that says I am not doing much.

Between games

myplaycityIt has been a long time since I have been between games , so currently I am learning again that games teach you a lot about life, how you think and literally force you to lift your game. I have been a bit of a games tragic looking for new games to play but it has been funny and a wake up call. If something is teaching me I need to be more alert, I pay attention. Last week my favourite game HayDay managed to lose 40 diamonds. You can gather some during the game but you also pay real money for them. 40 diamonds is a lot. It happened last year and I lost 10 which I wasn’t happy about , but I could make that up. 40 is more serious and has spoiled a safe gaming area for me. Having googled, there doesn’t seem to be a way of addressing it  so I am not playing the game. I had no sooner lost my diamonds than I was recommended Stardew Valley, an indie farming game, and I looked it up on the iPad. What is there in the app store is not the game at all. Neither of them were the farming game and represent a false image of what they are. So now I have learned not to trust the app store. I shall only download apps which are free, have reviews and then see. If I want to pay later then that is fair. So first lesson between games is to be ready for the pitfalls. I went to MyPlayCity because I always got games from there before and they were a site which really helped me to find the games I liked. It was also a site which helped me learn how to play games. They have hundreds of games to choose from which you can play online or download and try properly. I downloaded Farmfrenzy3 and found out I can’t farm in a frenzy. It was such a different approach. MyPlayCity was restarting the game for me to try to get me to remember what I was supposed to be doing. I found out I couldn’t hold a lion in a cage , farm, collect and produce at the same time. I went back to my iPad and tried a Sherlock Holmes hidden object game and in 5 minutes I couldn’t find much, lost all my points to randomly stabbing the screen because it has penalty points and then decided I just was not able to concentrate properly on that game. It requires a high level of attention. Every game works on different personal skills and attributes. Every game wakes up your skills and thinking. I then tried Farmscapes and I quite like the mix of reading, doing and match 3 gaming to get money to buy things. I realise this game is making me use things I have learned before but in a way so that I am in control and calling up the things I have learned in games before. I am about to go and download Stardew Valley  from Steam because it has a strong community, support and is a game which people seem to love. I have to pay for it but the Steam site, which is a great gaming site with good graphics, also has free games to try and games which have tiny prices. I am enjoying exploring all the different games again because they are all challenging my thinking.

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