In the age of digital literacy, I believe it is important for us as educators to help our students acquire the skills necessary to “create content and effectively communicate using a variety of digital media tools. ” (Hoechsmann, Michael, DeWaard, Helen, 2015, p. 5). Specifically, I feel having a basic understanding of coding is essential for today’s student.
I began incorporating some coding activities into my classroom a couple of years ago. I taught an elective called Go Google which encompassed a variety of digital literacy skills such as website design using Google Sites, blogging using Blogger, and creating a variety of content using the GAFE environment. I finally decided to step into the world of coding when I first heard about the Hour of Code. The first year I just gave the kids some free time and let them play. Some of the students were really engaged and moved through the activities with ease and others were completely lost. The next semester I wanted to go a little deeper so I created the following lesson:
This activity went really well since students were familiar with the Google Logo and how it changed through the seasons. As an educator, it was also in line with Alberta’s Learning and Technology Policy Framework (2013) in that it allowed students to use technology “as a platform for creation and sharing” (p. 4).
When investigating Mozilla’s Web Literacy tool and using it to evaluate my lesson I achieved the following:
Overall, this activity was fun for students, and for some their first foray into the world of code. It falls under the branch of digital literacy Pangrazio refers to as digital design literacy in that “‘real’ learning takes place when people make and create” (as quoted in Pangrazio, 2016, p. 167). Hopefully, my students finished this lesson and then continued to make and create with code on their own.
Hoechsmann, Michael, DeWaard, Helen. (2015) Mapping Digital Literacy Policy and Practice in the Canadian Education Landscape : MediaSmarts. Available at http:// mediasmarts.ca/ teacher-resources/ digital-literacy- framework/ mapping-digital-literacy-policy-practice-canadian-education-landscape
Government of Alberta. (2013). Learning and Technology Policy Framework . Retrieved from http:// education.alberta.ca/ media/6581166/framework.pdf
Web Literacy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://learning
Pangrazio, L. (2016). Reconceptualising critical digital literacy. Discourse: Studies in Cultural Politics, 37(2), 163-174.