Today, between swims in the pool and road cycling, I decided to show the kids (8 & 12 years old) the Code.org Hour of Code Minecraft, Frozen & Star Wars coding activities. I actually have lots of other preparation for 2016 to do but I guess I’m procrastinating and I wanted to do something digital with the kids.
Would I do use this in High School (grades 7 to 12)? Maybe for a quick activity or maybe as a pre-assessment activity (to find out where kids are starting at). It is definitely less than an hour worth of code though; most 10+ year old kids would probably have to do two activities to spend an hour. It is a good introductory; however, anyone who can actually code might find it kind of frustrating and very limiting to use. It might be a real shock if some students love the “play” quality of the Hour of Code and then start doing something a bit more challenging (like real syntax code!). I really hope that the push for coding for everyone hasn’t been driven solely on these types of simplified code games! The good news is that there are more on-line options available, such as Code.org Code Studio, CodeCombat, Code Avengers, CodinGame, Codecademy, Construct 2, Scratch, Alice & W3Schools.
My kids loved the ‘Hour of Code’ completion Certificates. Any chance to use our printer! 🙂
OK, so here is my review of these on-line coding activities.
My 8 year old daughter was very excited about this one BUT we didn’t complete it! It included the requirement to understand angles, but my daughter is just not ready for anything below 45 degrees at this moment. There were some good examples of nested loops but this was beyond my 8 year old.