CodEd: Teaching Coding in the Classroom

From Silicon Valley to Bangalore, Computer Science drives innovation all around the globe. Programming is becoming an essential literacy that helps students understand, access and construct their increasingly digital world. This book provides information on what is required to design an engaging programming classroom for students of all ages. In CodEd, readers will learn about:

• Core concepts of programming and their relevance
• A continuum of programming concepts and skills with assessment methods that can be used to plan individualized programming instruction
• Strategies for differentiating programming instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners
• A Programming prototype at ASB that can be adopted or adapted to support students to learn programming at any school.

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While the amount of computer science offerings in schools has grown over the years, a secondary course in programming is still niche. Usually, that course would still be a traditional course, focused on learning a programming language (usually Java) and rarely including the applications of this language.

What would an inclusive computer science classroom that appealed to non-traditional students and focused on building interest in coding through fun and creative projects look like? This was a question that drove my work at the American School of Bombay in developing the curriculum for the Creative Coding course.

This book supports the argument that teaching coding more playfully using creative projects like algorithmic art, games, simulations, and stories increases the appeal for computer science. The book provides teaching strategies that support an inclusive, idea-exploring classroom environment and tools for differentiating students of mixed-ability. It culminates in an analysis of the Creative Coding course we created, demonstrating the strategies we used with real students in a mixed-age, mixed-ability computer science classroom. Lastly, the book makes the case and provides tools for building a systemic approach to computer science education so that students have opportunities to love code from Elementary to High School.

Type: Education

Maker Minds

If you are seeking to equip, engage, and empower students to learn through Making, Maker Minds is for you. This book will support you to build & sustain a Maker culture and Maker practices that meet your students’ needs to learn through making. Based on their work at Re.D Studio (the Research and Development department at The American School of Bombay), the authors of Maker Minds share insights, practices, and resources that have been developed at our school. You can take the insights, practices, and resources and use them to build Maker minds in your context.

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This book was co-authored with our team at the American School of Bombay and documents the methods, experiences, and structures we created to build a culture around Making. The book spans the work we did K-12 and explores how we developed maker experiences at different skill levels across a multitude of formal/informal programs. There is a sense of progression that is visible in the book showing our journey from inspiration to implementation.

At the time of publication, there were very few resources written from a formal education context for Maker and Constructionist Educators to learn from. In addition to documenting our journey, this book was written with the purpose of equipping educators interested in using this type of pedagogy in their classrooms.

Type: Education

The Maker Saturday Prototype

This chapter was published in Future Forwards: Volume 6

Three years ago on a Saturday morning, we held our inaugural Maker Saturday. The tables in the High School Gymnasium held ten of the first maker activities that the Re.D Studio had ever run. Activities included constructing with cardboard, creating circuits that lit LEDs, using MaKey MaKeys with Scratch programming, and Lego robots. At each station, parents and children worked together in making musical instruments, electronic dollhouses, and light-up tiaras among other creations. That was three years ago. We didn’t know at the time that Maker Saturday would be one of the most visibly impactful prototypes we’ve run or how the impacts would shape ASB’s Community Maker Culture…continue reading

Type: Education

Creative Coding: A Prototype Course in the High School

This chapter was published in Future Forwards: Vol 5.

Programming is an essential skill. Learning to program can support and empower learners to succeed in school and pursue their aspirations. Programming develops skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and structured planning through the experience of creating something using lines of code. In addition to cultivating these important life skills, programming assists in demystifying technology, allowing the learner to make sense of how computers and electronics work in the world around them. As we move into an era of enchanted objects, wearable technology, and the internet of things, learning programming is a vital life skill…continue reading.

Type: Education, General Programming

Maker Challenges in the High School

This chapter was published in Future Forwards: Vol 5

In the High School, we use Maker Challenges to create different contexts for learners to learn through making. The three types of challenges we use are Tinkering Challenges, Making Challenges, and Solution-Based Challenges. Tinkering Challenges provide students with materials, tools, and prompts that serve as cues for students to start exploring through tinkering with the materials and tools. Making Challenges provide students with materials, tools, and a challenge statement that labels the criteria. Solutions-Based Challenges provide students with materials, tools, and a challenge to solve a real-world problem through making. The Challenges range from 30 minute competitions to 2 hour making sessions, to multiple class periods…continue reading

Type: Education