Great post by Ben Grey on his participation in Constructing Modern knowledge - he hits several things including the fact that many at the conference said that computer programming should be mandatory for all students and a presenter who said that the problem with today is that too many people have a voice.
My comments from Ben's blog are below. Great conversations happening here!
Programming - OK, on the programming thing, here are my thoughts.
We spend about a week – two weeks but I require they know how to handcode hyperlinks and images – they are just too important.
But to take 12 weeks or 6 weeks to learn a whole language – yes maybe some value – but to me the value is HOW is the language constructed or built. What are the conventions and how do I educate myself if I am interested in pursuing. What comes out of this time is kids who say either “I never want to do that” or “this is really cool, I love coding.”
They are doing very simplistic work (although the LSL object languages were pretty advanced) but since we don’t have a full course nor time in our curriculum, I do see this as an essential part of what I teach.
I’m not teaching it for the language sake but for the sake of understanding the whole body of how languages work – we talk about the different languages and what they are used for as part of Intro to Computer science and have an immersive experience.
To me, this is somewhat a comprimise between leaving it out entirely or forcing everyone to take 12 weeks of it. I just don’t know where 12 weeks would go in the curriculum.
Use this website to create, read, and share digital books and build reading skills in students. The books you build will be universally designed and accessible -- elementary teachers should be all over this super cool resource.
My new friend at CAST (and UDL expert) shared this cool resource with me called bookbuilder. This is a link to a presentation and a podcast can be found at - http://www.cyberears.com/cybrss/6373.mp3 about how bookbuilder can be used as a product or tool used students to demonstrate their content knowledge.
I love how each student can have comments or information they post on their slides about a topic. This is very very cool and accessible to all! This presentation demonstrates what can be done and I can't wait to work with the back end!