Karel and CodeHS

Now that I am finally finished with my Arduino project, I am supposed to move onto app creation using AppInventor. But before that, I was introduced to a new free online platform known as CodeHS.

It has become one of the most useful tools that I have encountered in terms of teaching students the basics of computer programming.

What makes CodeHS superior to others? In my humble opinion, CodeHS has one of the best pedagogical models I have seen in terms of teaching a defined skill set like computer programming. Its instructions are so clear, its feedback is immediate, and its ability to level up the user is seamless. My students liked Kodu and Codecacademy, but they LOVE CodeHS. Of course, Codecacademy offers more languages, but if you are starting out with teaching your students the very basics of programming, CodeHS with Karel really is the way to go.

The bottom line is that it has simply been the most user-friendly tool that I have ever used with my students. I am seriously considering getting paid subscriptions for my students, which will not be easy considering my budget constraints.

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Learning from Others

As usual, when I attend any face-to-face sessions, I am in awe of the talent present in my cadre.

Here are some pictures of the projects my classmates have created. Clearly, I do not possess their level of talent, but seeing them gave me so many ideas. I have never considered myself to be a talented maker or artist. But seeing them enjoy the debugging exercise inspired me to bring the joy to my students. The more I am doing this, the more I am convinced that my place is in the classroom, working and teaching my students. It might sound like I am taking an easy way out, but thinking about bringing this to my students excites me more than making my project work. Now I must look for ways to fund their passion!

Debugging Exercise

Debugging Exercise

Motion Detecting Music Box

Motion Detecting Music Box

Soldering

Soldering

Amazing Light-Up Painting

Amazing Light-Up Painting