Pupils take their lead from their teacher, so it is also important that staff are enthusiastic about coding and convey that excitement to pupils. Coding is all about sequential and logical thinking, so taking a step-by-step progression through the topic is also extremely helpful to pupils. Learning also needs to be relevant to today’s world. There is a danger that unless pupils feel that they are tackling authentic real world programming tasks (such as using the accelerometer in the iPad) they will lose interest.
The good news, in my experience working within schools, is that there is a wealth of advice, support and exciting new software such as Espresso Coding, Scratch and Kodu which can engage and enthuse. The only issue for the pupils is how to continue their learning beyond the end of the lesson. Some software has the ability to publish and share built-in apps. Alternatively, schools could look to link work to an existing safe online learning environment. Either way, there is a great opportunity with coding to let the excitement generated in the classroom carry on at home.
David Whyley will be speaking at Bett 2014 on Thursday 23 January, from 13:30 to 14:15 Schools Learn Live Theatre 3, Bett 2014, Excel, London.
Photo credit: Cype_Applejuice