Scratch Junior an app developed on the back of the Scratch website provides a free app allowing younger students to learn the beginnings of code. Why is coding important? A question increasingly pondered in academic literature and online. Computational thinking and learning how to code are areas capturing the attention and imagination of educators. During programming students are exposed to computational thinking a term popularised by Wing (2006). Lye & Koh (2010) report on a study proposing that a ‘constructionism-based, problem solving environment with information processing , scaffolding and reflection activities could be designed to foster computational practices and perspectives.’ Inarguably this aligns with twenty-first century competencies such as creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. Moreover Stager (2005) describes progressive teaching practice within a framework of peer mentoring and collaboration exploring the notion that ‘knowledge is constructed through the active engagement of a learner and shared’ and discusses educational experiences as, ‘ framed by an ongoing conversation and exhibitions of student work rather than based on the delivery of content.’ A decade on many classrooms do not embrace collaboration and constuctivism which seems disappointing in a time when all educators have the potential to offer an environment framed by this thinking, an environment which can be driven by the affordances of technological advances to our lives, at home and work and school every day. Not convinced, visit this website for some bedtime reading and food for thought. Constructing Modern Knowledge.
Lye. S & Koh, J. (2014). Review on teaching and learning of computational thinking through programming: What is next for K-12? Computers in Human Behaviour. 41. 51-61. Retrieved from Doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.09.012
Raja, T. We can code it! Why computer literacy is key to winning the 21st century. Retrieved form http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/06/computer-science-programming-code-diversity-sexism-education
Stager, G. (2005). Towards a Pedagogy of online constructivist learning. 2005 World conference on computers in education. Retrieved from http://stager.org/articles/onlineconstructionism.pdf