This 49 page paper on coding in the classroom was prepared for my Master's Degree Program at the University of Florida. It will help practicing teachers bring coding to their classroom or assist educators in an education program develop a thesis/practicum.
My objective as an educator is to develop in my students the ability to understand the fundamentals of computer programming. Beginner programmers have engaging tools like Scratch.org and Code.org that gamify the learning process. The purpose of my practicum is to investigate the challenges in teaching computer programming to students after they have learned the fundamentals. In essence, “How can I use Codeacademy.com in my teaching practice to further stimulate their interest in learning more advanced coding skills?”
For several years I have utilized Web 2.0 sites like Scratch (scratch.mit.edu) and Code.org to teach the fundamentals of computer programming to Grades 7 and 8. I’m also responsible for teaching Grades 9 and 10 more advanced programming concepts and languages. Computer programming isn’t an elective at my school therefore I must design a curriculum to reach students with different motivations and attitudes towards learning programming.
I feel it is important to engage two groups of students:
1. Career Interest: Motivate students who may pursue programming as a college major and eventually career.
2. No Career Interest: Assure that students who don't have an interest in programming at least "get" the fundamentals (variables, strings, arrays, objects) of programming.
I would like to investigate the effectiveness of using Codeacademy.com to teach more advanced computer programming concepts to Grades 9 and 10. Scratch and Code.org both utilized a “drag-and-drop block programming” style and elements of “gamification” to teach students how to code.
Additionally, my sub-questions will focus on:
• How do students perceive my teaching and how effectively am I using Codeacademy.com as a teaching tool?
• What levels of achievement are the students reaching?