K-12 teachers spent the day with Bob (@velcrohook) from Apple Canada who worked us through some programming paces using Apple products – iPads and MacBooks.
Working through some heavy programming terminology like:
- variables (scope global vs local)
- data type
- conditional statements (if-then)
- running/executing a program
One would think that this terminology would sit well only at the high school level, but that isn’t true as Bob focused us from the easiest tasks to the hardest by the end of the day. It was quite a learning journey and I would highly recommend time spent learning and interacting just like this to anyone who is interested in getting their students into this world of programming.
- Jigsaw puzzles – even these warrant the need to communicate and connect and put together in order to create something, a picture in this instance.
- Lightbot Jr and Lightbot apps – fun with the basics and then looking at the different procedures to make that robot move! Definitely something that individual and some groups of students can work on. (K-3, but older students may like it too)
- Scratch Jr and Scratch apps – from basics, to programming to exemplars and curriculum on the main Scratch website, this is my “go to” for anyone who is interested in jumping into the coding world with their students. (K-12)
- Hopscotch app – from making a game, to pictures to remakes, to Rube Goldberg machines, emojis, etc. This one app will fascinate from grades 3+.
- Tickle app – my favorite app since it does so much. With it you can use block programming (like Scratch) to program Star Wars BB-8 Droid, Arduino, Drones, Dash and Dot robots, Spheros, and Ollies.
- XCode on MacBook – create amazing apps for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. I love that you can create the code on one half and the other half shows you in real-time what it would like on the application. There’s also the new Swift Playgrounds too (we didn’t go into this one).
Basically, you need to find time with colleagues, with your students to try these applications out, you won’t be disappointed and will certainly learn a lot along the way.