Thursday, February 4, 2016

What coding can teach

These days I am thinking a lot about coding. I'm trying to gain an understanding of how kids learn to code, why they might want to learn, and how coding fits with our Learning Lab goals. As I said in a previous post, The Thinking behind the Tinkering, we want a learning environment where kids have the freedom to innovate. We want them to learn by doing and we want them to enter into a pattern of thinking, making, and improving.  Seymour Papert's insights into how children learn and work with computers is convincing me that coding could fit into the learning lab. Here are some quotes that connect his ideas to our goals:

"In my vision, the child programs the computer and, in doing so, both acquires a sense of mastery over a piece of the most modern and powerful technology and establishes an intimate contact with some of the deepest ideas from science, from mathematics, and from the art of intellectual model building". Mindstorms, 5

"When you learn to program a computer you almost never get it right the first time. Learning to be a master programmer is learning to become highly skilled at isolating and correcting “bugs” the parts that keep the program from working. The question is not whether it is right or wrong, but if it is fixable." Mindstorms, 23

"In deliberately learning to imitate mechanical thinking, the learner becomes able to articulate what mechanical thinking is and what it is not." Mindstorms, 27

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