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Hour of Code: 30 ways to get your students (k-12) coding! #hourofcode

What it is: This week is Hour of Code week! From December 9- December 15, Code.org is hosting an event to introduce students everywhere to computer sciences.  The event is super flexible, you can plan your hour anywhere it fits in your schedule this week.  Code.org has MORE than enough resources, videos, activities to get you going, but these days there are all kinds of great resources to help you bring programming and the Hour of Code into your classroom.  The best part is, there is no previous coding experience required, really! I can’t tell you how rewarding and exciting it is to learn something alongside your students.  It is such a neat thing for your students to see you as a learner (without all of the answers) and discover learning together.  This is rewarding in ways you may not have experienced before. How lead your student (school) in the Hour of Code Week: First: sign up for the Hour of Code week at Code.org.  This leads you to fantastic tutorials for the learner. Check out the tutorials and pick one for your class. Tutorials are available in a variety of languages! I like to go through the tutorial once on my own so that I have some background information before diving right in with students. Test tutorials on the devices students will use during the Hour of Code (there is nothing worse than planning everything only to learn you don’t have the correct plugin!) Next decide if your students will be going through the tutorial on their own, in partners, or as a class.  This probably depends on what devices you have available for your students.  Don’t let a lack of devices keep you from participating!  Students can work together on classroom computers (maybe as a center where groups visit the computer together for an hour. A new group can visit the center each day of the week.) If you don’t have reliable classroom computers, or the ability for students to work independently in a one to one setting, think about working as a whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  If you suffer from low bandwidth (the worst!) you can even opt to download the tutorials so that you are watching them locally. Have fun learning together! It is okay to say, “I don’t know.” As I said above, it is truly such a cool experience to learn with your students. Although Code.org is hosting the Hour of Code, you aren’t limited to the resources you find there.  Below I’ve listed some of our favorite places to learn about coding at Anastasis Academy: Codecademy (this was where Team Anastasis started our first year during Crave classes. I learned right along with them! I can’t tell you the number of times I said, “I don’t know, let’s see if anyone on Twitter can help.” GREAT experience! The kids loved the game nature of learning to code and the immediate gratification of moving to the next level.) Codecademy: Hour of Code this is available as an app on the iPhone (can also be downloaded for iPad at the phone resolution) Squad is a free collaborative code editor.  With Squad, students can access the code they are writing anywhere there is an Internet connection. This means that students can chat and edit files together no matter where they are. Tynker– This is one that I wrote about just the other day…cannot wait to use it! Romo– This is a robot that helps teaches the basics of programming. I adore this little robot. It is adorable and fairly affordable if you already have an iPhone/iPod that you are willing to let kids use. Bootstrap– This is an awesome resource for middle and high school students.  It teaches students algebraic and geometric concepts through computer programming.  Different from other resources, this one begins with the math in mind and shows students practical application of what they are learning in algebra/geometry as you go.  Very cool! Scratch– from MIT, this is a great place to start…a long time winner for sure! Stencyl- is game creation software with a visual interface that lets students publish their creations for any platform. Game Salad– similar to Stencyl, this free download lets students create games visually and publish their creation on multiple platforms. Hackety Hack!– with this download kids can learn the basics of Ruby on Rails programming language. Code Monster- great beginner interface for kids to learn the basics of programming through a step-by-step online guide. Hopscotch– Coding for kids in a visual programming language. Hopscotch is an app for the iPad and FREE! Move the Turtle- Another app for the iPad that teaches programming visually. This one is $2.99 Treehouse- Free app for the iPad that teaches programming and design from 1000 videos, practice modules, etc. Cato’s Hike Lite– This is a programming and logic odyessy for kids. This is a great place for kids to learn the basics. The lite version linked here is free, the full version is $4.99 CProgramming- an iPad guide to programming in C. This app features a conversational style with visual explanations and is probably best for older student. The hosts sing badly, tell cheesy jokes, and include ridiculous pop culture references.  All of this adds up to a fun way to learn. $5.99 Codea– an iPad app that fills in the gaps of your lack of programming knowledge with visual interface. $9.99 KineScript Lite– visual programming for kids to learn to code and share it with others. A great starting point! Free!  Full version is $1.99 Dynamic Art Lite– Another iPad based graphical programming option for kids. This one lets students create amazing animation and artwork with a drag/drop set of blocks. Free! Full version is $2.99 Kodable is a free iPad game that offers a kid-friendly introduction to programming concepts and problem solving. (The pro version is on SUPER SALE for the Hour of Code week- 90% off!) Java Tutorial: Learn Java quickly with this iPad app from Udemy for older students. Free Light-bot Hour of Code- A free iPad app that introduces kids that have absolutely NO experience programming but can immediately use programming logic in this fun game. Daisy Dinosaur- a fantastic and free basics of programming app that features an adorable dinosaur named Daisy. The visual interface is great and teaches students the basics of objects, sequencing, loops, and events by solving the app’s challenges. (This is a favorite!) Bot Bat– a free iPad app that lets students design their own robot tank to do battle, they use visual programming to tell the bot what to do. Codi Animation- an iPad app where students can create animation for their own iOS app. $.99 Chip Bots- a free iPad app that lets students design and program their own robot using chip-based programming environments. Circuit Coder– an iPad game and simulator for building digital circuits $1.99 Lego Mindstorms Fix the Factory– I don’t know about you, but our youngest students are LEGO crazy. They would be all over this free iPad app that teaches the basics of programming language. TouchLogo is an ipad game that introduces programming to young children (even preschoolers could use this one!) $2. Last but certainly not least, Code.org. A fantastic site for all things code and lots of goodies just for educators!   Tips: There are lots of videos and printouts for the Hour of Code that you can use to inspire some excitement about this fun day! You will even find links for letters to send home, to your administration, even the government! What are you doing for your Hour of Code?  What fun things do you have planned?

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A catalog of apps sorted by Bloom’s Taxonomy #standagain

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Blooms Taxonomy, Create, Evaluate, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain) | Posted on 17-01-2012

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What it is:   This week Apple is all set to make a BIG announcement about education.  I always tune in when Apple has something to say, but this week I am particularly interested in what they are going to do with education.  The announcement has been connected to some of the big 6 (publishers).  This worries me a little bit because I find that the 6 are pretty traditional and in-the-box kind of thinkers.  It will be interesting to see how (or if) Apple has managed to convince some of them to break free a little bit.  What I am not excited for: a re-invention of the old way. Been there, seen that. We need something that will let students be creative and innovative, NOT rearrange their textbooks!  I digress.
In honor of Apple’s announcement, I thought I would do an early release of a catalog of apps I have been working on organized by Bloom’s Taxonomy.  I’ve been putting off publishing it because frankly, there are ALWAYS more to add. I just keep chipping away at it as I find it.  To be honest, I have a large collection on my iPad that are ready to be added but haven’t yet. So…bear in mind this is incomplete and will continue to grow!  For those of you who have iDevices in your classroom or at home, I hope it is helpful!
How to integrate Bloom’s Taxonomy of apps into the classroom: Bloom’s Taxonomy is by no means the best or only way to categorize websites, apps or other educational tools.  However, I often find that for my purposes, it is a really nice way to organize tools so that I can find them later.  It also keeps me (and my students) thinking about the learning process and keeps us all from getting stuck in a one-type-of-learning rut.  Bloom’s is also extraordinarily handy for categorizing apps that don’t fit neatly into a subject matter or that fall into several different subject categories.
In the apps, I have given you a little guide.  If an app cost money, I’ve added a $$ on the app.  The others are free.  The free apps are just as wonderful as some of the paid!
Keep the guide of apps handy for those parents who ask for your best app recommendations!
Tips:   Use the Bloom’s Taxonomy app guide with my Bloomin’ posters!  Stay tuned for BIG versions of the posters coming soon with my launch of the Learning Genome project on Kickstarter! Woot!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Bloom’s Taxonomy of Apps in  your classroom!

Comments (5)

Wow, what a great idea! This will be such a handy resource for teachers. I am glad I wandered over here and saw this. Keep up the good work.

Andrea Nichols

Kelly- this is such an amazing resource! You released it at the start of this year, next year in 2013 you can come out with the next version. I know what it’s like to build these resources and worry about something new coming out- but Jane Hart doesn’t wait and neither should you.

You also need a nice cover on this thing- girl! Plant your Web link on it with ‘2012 edition’ and it’s good to go. So many instructors ask me for something like this all the time. It’s awesome that you put it together!

:) Thanks Leah! I left it undone looking so I will be FORCED to upload newest as it comes!

This old grouch would like to point out that Bloom (1956) posited three domains. The affective and psycho-motor domains are consistently over-looked by those less-versed in educational learning theory.

Geography, as an example subject, contributes to both with some significance:
– values and attitudes (feelings)
– spatial awareness, use of fieldwork devices etc.

There are apps for those.


This is a really cool way of looking at these apps, and a fantastic resource for teachers!

Just a suggestion, you should include lesson plan creation apps into this as well. One great example is the ShowMe app. It is an interactive whiteboard where teachers and students can khan academy style lessons and share them on a learning network.


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