Coding is the English word for computer programming. What is meant to program in computer science? It means using a given programming language to write a set of sequential instructions in order to solve a particular problem.
When we talk about coding at school we mean not only the writing code, but in a broader sense, also the acquisition of the intellectual tools to proceed to the resolution of a problem. Instruments that are proper of the computational thinking.
Jeannette M. Wing, Rector of the Department of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, USA in his famous article Computational Thinking writes:
“Having to solve a problem, we should ask: how difficult is it to solve it? What is the best way to solve it?
[ …] The computational thinking means reformulating a seemingly difficult problem into one that we can solve, even reducing it, incorporating it into another, transforming it or faking it. “Program includes having an idea and translate it into instructions that a machine can understand. That’s why MILE School has decided to incorporate the coding in its curriculum ICT.
The choice of MILE’s ICT Dept. fell on Scratch app invented a few years ago by MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has the undisputed advantage to teach algorithmic-computational thinking to the youngest. To use Scratch there is no need to have computer skills, its use is fully graphical.
Each brick corresponds to an instruction. In fact, children learn to program creating games, featuring stories by animating drawings, actions and movements, characters and things … And you learn from your mistakes! Therefore when the child creates the “strings” of commands through his iPad, to perform a particular task such as a character in a game, will teach the iPad – via Scratch – how to do.
And if he cannot because the machine doesn’t do what he wants then the student knows that with patience he will retrace throough all the “strings” of data commands, disassemble it and recreate it by following a precise logic that will lead to the creation of an original product . The coding gives children a mindset that will allow them to tackle complex problems when they are older.
The choice of ICT Dept. for MILE School Middle fell on Swift app Apple published for free a few weeks ago and which aims to teach algorithmic-computational thinking to the youngest.
Learning how to program, opens the mind. For this you can begin at an early age. Even to get out of a misunderstanding: our children, the so-called “digital natives”, are very good with the new technologies.It is a commonplace to think that our young students are the genes of technology. In fact they are mostly passive users of technology.
When students approach to coding, however, they become active in the technological subjects. The results are immediate. In an hour you can create a small video game, that perfectly works and you learn to program using a universal code, the code of technology.