Coding to learn

I’ve heard many people talk about the difference between “Learning to Code” and “Coding to Learn”. In many cases, it’s just a cute little expression and the different between the two really isn’t fleshed out.

At the CSTA Conference, I had a really good opportunity to see the difference in action – although it wasn’t really fleshed out but you knew it if you were there.

The workshop was:

Integration CT+X: A Workshop to Plan Your Integration Activities
(Link takes you to the complete program)

I ended up there by chance. I was only supposed to be in charge of volunteers but our Proctoring Chair sent out a panic email looking for people to proctor so I said “Put me in coach”.

I read the workshop descriptor and the bio of Andy Isaacs from the University of Chicago who was supposed to be a co-presenter but ended up doing things himself.

The workshop used Scratch but we did anything but learn or program in scratch. Instead, we were focused on learning activities that had us modifying existing code as we were learning curriculum concepts.

From CanonLab, we dug into a couple of activities that made “See Inside” come to life because it was there that you were working to make things happen.

You’ll have to register for free access to these and all of the materials.

Many of the principles addressed are outlined in the Everyday Computing document.

Bottom line – what started as something that I got volunteered for, which I’d hoped might be a place to take the load off my feet for 3 hours, turned into a fascinating and eye-opening experience for me.


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