Jordan: First let me say that I really enjoyed reading your book, especially the emphasis you put on writing. You argue: “The central virtue of a liberal education is that it teaches you how to write, and writing makes you think.” I appreciated that you didn’t just emphasize the importance of writing as a technical skill, a workplace proficiency. Instead, you are arguing for the importance of well-structured articulation.
Writing does make kids think and reinforces learning in all subjects, so I fully support efforts like classroom blogging that get kids writing (and thinking) just for the fun of it! Jackson-Via Computer Club
I agree! I was “lucky” when we bought a Commodore 64 computer for our middle-school son and we both started learning BASIC programming. I was “lucky” that I was in Marion, Alabama, when the Internet arrived and Judson College needed a webmaster. He was “lucky” to get a job as a software engineer, but what made the difference for both of us was the opportunity to see the possibilities.
Our first spring 2015 after-school Computer Club meeting on Monday was a huge success. We have some new enthusiasts joining a number of “old” members so we have a good environment for sharing and collaboration. We are very happy to have this opportunity for joint inquiry, experimentation, and play!
An interesting article from Harvard Magazine:
The call to reexamine what teachers teach can bring renewed discussions of how. With tools like augmented reality, games, and coding, it’s possible to imagine a model of schooling that departs from its behaviorist past—creating a Ludic Education for a Ludic Age, promoting inquiry, collaboration, experimentation, and play. In this vision, teachers and students are partners in a joint venture. They open up the Teaching Machine to peer into its guts and gears—tinkering, failing, and trying again, to see what they can make of it together. The machines can return education to what it’s always been: a project that’s intrinsically human.
After teaching an introductory course in computer programming with Java a few years ago, I am expecting that using Scratch will allow the concepts of computer coding to shine through without the annoyance of typing in the code in a text editor. I think this edX course will be so much fun – and maybe I will be able to keep ahead of the Jackson-Via Computer Club kids this spring!
There is still time to sign up.
Programming in Scratch
See how easy learning computer science can be. Use Scratch to create games, animations, stories and more.
I have started meeting with seven bright and eager ELL (English Language Learner) students as a JABA FISH volunteer at Jackson-Via Elementary School. “My” kids this year are from Nepal, Mexico, Somalia, Egypt, and Congo. Do I know all their languages? No, but I do read, write, and speak English, and that is what they need practice in.