- Critical Thinking Skills
Our school uses Project Lead the Way as part of our curriculum. The focus is on real world problem solving. Students cannot game this system by memorizing or looking it up somewhere else. Real problems require real thinking. Failure to develop these skills is a recipe for failure later in life. Coding requires students to think about how to solve a problem, test their theories and consider how to fix things if the outcome is not what they expect. Isn’t most of adult life like that?
2. Sequence Matters
Our program requires students develop the code first by laying out a series of cards that have arrows and words on them in order to direct someone, who plays a pretend dog in the early elementary version, around a maze. The first time students work on this project, they inevitably lay out the cards in a long line on the floor and after carefully problem solving, pick them up any old way. Al their work is ruined, but they often d not realize that until the go to the maze and their “solution” is a mess. There are many places in life where first things must be first in order to have success. it is an advantage to use it in something as risk free as a coding game.
3. Teamwork is Important
Students must work as a team to get the pretend dog around the maze. Someone has to be the dog. Someone has to read the cards. Someone has to check for accuracy and usually, someone has to problem solve. Even when students work on Hour of Code , we often work as pairs on the same computer. Most of the time, two heads really are better than one. Team work is important for the success of most projects and coding is a great place to learn to work together. I hope you are convinced that every student should have the opportunity to learn to code.