Tips for teaching coding
If you’re an educator at any level, you will be one of the first to know just how quickly the curriculum moves in terms of computer science and STEM subjects. Not only are pupils expected to be at a certain level of literacy, numeracy included, but they’re also supposed to be computer literate and now, you’re also expected to introduce them to coding and programming. While this might seem like a daunting task, we have your back, here are some tips to help start you off with teaching coding.
Firstly, coding is a fairly new concept for schools to get their heads around, so it’s perfectly fine for you to learn alongside your class. At Active Robots, we are providers of various educational robotic kits for each different stage of learning, but one product that is good as a starting point is LEGO®. Yes, you read that right, but not just any LEGO® but the LEGO® Education range. If you’re a Primary School teacher and you want to give your pupils a head start, the LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 classroom sets are perfect for you and if you are Secondary School and above, you will need the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 sets. Both the kits come complete with recognisable LEGO® bricks adding an element of fun into the lessons and built in lesson plans, allowing you to confidently take control of the lesson and learn alongside your class. LEGO® Education also offer online teacher support and many teachers already taking the step into teaching programming have communities online to help others come up with interesting lessons and designs.
If Lego® isn’t your thing, or you don’t quite need a classroom set, perhaps you’re giving your kids a head start outside of school, then take a look at our Sparkfun and Phidgets products, we also stock buildable robot kits, as well as Arduino and Raspberry Pi which give you the opportunity to build and code robots at your own pace.
Secondly and one of the most engaging things about using these products as part of the lesson is that you and your pupils have the opportunity to get hands on experience with engineering and programming. This allows children, whether in a classroom setting or not, to see tangible results of all that theory. The kits allow you to build whatever your imagination desires, but the built-in plans, which in the case of Lego® are all illustration based, starts you off slowly, building robots before adding in sensors to allow the models to perform different tasks. You can even, once you’ve gotten the basics, use the models in cross curricular lessons, such as maths or geography.
If you thought teaching coding was a bit daunting, don’t worry, with these , your class will be ready to fulfil curriculum needs in no time!