5 Ways Everyone Can Easily Learn Coding

Secret codes have existed since the dawn of time. Children creating new ones is nothing new, however with the push to advance STEM education, coding has taken on an entirely different meaning.

Learn Coding Without a Computer

The need to code has become a major platform in education. Coding is seen as the gateway to the future, and in many ways it is. Coding teaches problems solving and helps students understand technology that hasn’t even been invented yet.

As with every latest and greatest trend, funding is an issue. With coding not only being a preferred class, but a requirement in many districts, educators are wondering where they will find the capital to fund this mission.

The great Digital Divide is no secret. If school are required to teach coding, will it only grow larger. How can students in underserved and underfunded districts compete in the global economy of the future?

Thankfully, coding does not require a computer!

Wait…what??

That’s right, coding can be taught with simple, low budget items most teachers probably already have. So, no need for a Chromebook in every hand. Global Learn Day is here to help!

Here are FIVE ways to learn coding for cheap without any additional technology needed. (Sure those robots are amazing, but this is for the rest of us!)

A Coding Course for Kids That’s Unplugged

Computer Science Unplugged is a website dedicated to teaching the technology skills of the future with the help of an ordinary printer and copy machine. These printable teach important concepts like binary language and networking to kids.

Coding is a language, so think of this as the grammar. No one becomes fluent without real world application, but being able to read the target language is the first step in becoming a proficient speaker.

iGame Mom DIY Computer Camp is designed by a tech savvy mom who knows how to have fun. Tech camps, coding camps, and robotic camps are all the rage for summer enrichment, they are also extremely expensive.

Through printables, fun games, and easy to implement, hands-on lessons, iGame Mom gives every child the ability to have a high tech camp experience, right that his or her kitchen table.

The resources on iGame Mom are for ages 3 and up, so every aspiring coder in the family can participate.

Beading Binary Name Bracelet is a fun project that kids will love and grown ups can learn from. Have you ever made a beaded bracelet that followed a pattern? Then you are half way to understanding binary beading.

Using beads to represent 0,1, and spaces, children can create a beaded bracelet out of any combination of beads that spells his name. After learning the pattern for letters, children can then create new codes for everyday words. Just like learning any other language!

In fact, Morse code and braille are binary languages just like C++, Java, and other computer languages. All involve a set pattern that communicates a message from the creator to the recipient. Learning either of these will help children to understand coding.

Lego Maze Challenge builds on the popularity of LEGO bricks in STEM education and childhood play. Using ordinary blocks that can be found in most homes and schools, children progress through levels of challenge and dive deeper into the world of coding.

Learning how to give and follow directions precisely is an important part of writing code. Every step must be spelled out, computers can’t fill in the blanks left by programmers. It takes the code writer’s imagination to create the wonder the computer performs. The Lego Maze is a project created by Research Parent and includes a free printable. One bucket of LEGO
bricks, endless adventures!

ThinkFun Robot Turtles Coding Board Game is one game in a growing collection of good, old fashioned board games that teach hi tech concepts. Designed for players as young as 4, it is fun for the whole family.

Through playing cards and a catchy plot to win, the whole family can develop the cognitive abilities necessary to code. It even teaches the concept of debugging–meaning someday, your child may be able to just fix that computing error that is driving you mad!

Are you ready to close that screen and start teaching your children or students how to code? Oh, you are worried they won’t be able to keep up with the rest of the world, well, Finland is way ahead of you! They teach computer science computer-free!

How will you learn the code?

 

 

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Technology and the global connection

How Technology Can Unite and Divide Us

We are living in a time of rapid change. The technology that is revolutionary today is being replaced tomorrow. Technology is changing how we live our lives, plan our futures, and build relationships. In this digital age, we may wonder where it is heading.

As Amazon unveils its cashless store where shoppers just grab and go, former executives to some of the largest technology and social media companies continue to speak out about the problems these new innovations can cause.

What is the answer? Is technology ripping apart the world, or are the advances the way to finally unite us all?

Technology can unit or divid eus by Global Learn Day

How Is Technology Uniting Us?

Over 7.4 billion people live on Earth speaking 7,106 languages. For centuries, connecting with others in distant parts of the globe was arduous and even dangerous. Letters could be written but would take months to reach their destination. Even finding a contact in a far off land was a monumental task.

As the technology of travel improved, interconnectedness was established. Crossing the ocean or flying to the other side of the world took hours, not month or years. Postal routes became well organized and mail could seamlessly be transported from a home mailbox to virtually anywhere on the planet.

The advent of computers and the Internet changed anything. Messages could circumnavigate the globe in minutes, even seconds. A new era of global relationships began. Now finding someone in the far reaches of the world became as easy as a click of a button.

Events, such as Global Learn Day, became possible. We are very thankful for the technology that can unite us in ways that were just science fiction a generation ago. (Still no flying cars, but we can virtually meet face to face!)

How Has Technology Divided Us?

With all these advances the possibilities have grown and our ability to experience people, places, and events has reached further and further distances. However, at the same time the connects at home has broken down.

The fabric of socialization and community has moved from block parties to virtual communities and Facebook groups. The art of conversation is being lost, and despite our growing interdependence and resources, more people feel isolated than before.

Is Social Media Tearing Us Apart?

The dangers and disadvantages of social media have been in the spotlight recently. Cyber-bullying has created a suicide crisis among children, some as young as 8. Social media and smart phone addiction are on the rise. Face to face interaction, even with video conferencing technology, is becoming rare.

As technology advances and infiltrates every aspect of or lives, the connectivity that provides for a healthy and stable lifestyle has waned. As we stare into our screens and build up our networks, more and more people feel isolated and alone. A 2016 Harris Poll showed that 72% of American regularly feel lonely, one third of those suffer from loneliness at least once a week.

Is social media to blame? The answer isn’t an easy yes or no. The phenomenon of social media certainly has its downfalls. Coupled with smartphone addiction, the future may look grim.

The fact is that social media has the power to rip us apart but it also is an amazing vehicle for collaboration. In building up global connects, we must also invest our time and energy locally, being a force for good in our homes, communities, and countries.

The upcoming generation is the first to have grown up on social media. Their birth was announced via Facebook, their birthdays and school projects planned via Pinterest, and they “meet” their friends not on the sidewalk but in Snapchat. Setting up healthy boundaries and teaching good digital citizenship to these young people is vital. It isn’t enough for them to know how to use the technology, they must learn how to use it well and for good.

How Do We Go Forward with Technology?

Technology is here to stay and is so very ingrained in daily life, it would be catastrophic for it to be swept away.  As the shortcomings and dangers of this brave new world continue to be learned and fill the headlines, we must work to take what is good from our new found freedoms and continue to build a world of connections.

Education can unite the world, education not just taught by technology but education of how to effectively use it. As we build a global community, we must also encourage the development and preservation of our local communities. Teaching children how to reach out across the world wide web, but still interact and build friendships in real life. This is an arduous task and one that we are still very much learning how to do.

With great power comes great responsibility. We are at a crossroads for the increasing power of modern technology and social media. How will we use this power? It is the responsibility of each of us to wield it for good!

The human connection will always be the true tie that binds us close at home and across continents and oceans. Want to join our discussion on the future of education and global connections? Become a member of our Friends of Global Learn Day Facebook group.

 

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Global Learn Day Edtech

7 Edtechs to Try in 2018

It’s a couple weeks into 2018. Have you made any resolutions yet? Picked your word for the year?

New Year, New Opportunity

January offers a fresh start, even if it is in the middle of the school year for the northern hemisphere.  Technology is advancing and changing at record breaking speed.

While it is hard to keep up with every change, it’s important to be open to learning something new.  Trying out a new platform not only will enhance your learning experience but expand your brain.

Whatever your goals for 2018, add these 7 edtechs to the list.  Learn something new this year!

7 Edtech Applications to try in 2018

WeVideo–Do you like watching a movie? Have you ever wanted to make your own? WeVideo is a simple to use film editing platform that even young children can use. Don’t let it’s ease of use fool you though. WeVideo creates such amazing results that it is used by businesses to create marketing films.

Flipgrid–Flipped education is turning school on its head. Flipgrid is taking it a step further by using collaborative technology and film editing software to reach every student. In the Flipgrid classroom, student discussion runs the course not teacher lectures. The creative tools give every student a voice.

NewseumEd–This is an extension of the Newseum in Washington, D.C.  It’s virtual collection delivers primary sources right to your tablet, laptop, or phone. More than just a database, NewseumEd is packed with tools and classes for educators.  This is a must use for teaching students, and yourself, about history and discerning factual news.  There is even an EDIDEAS section for learning more about current events.

 myOn-myON is not just a program, it’s a “literacy ecosystem.”  The virtual library of interactive books teaches children to read while engaging them to keep learning by reading. myOn’s adventure isn’t only for students, the site offers professional development for teachers as well.

Quizalize–Quizzes are a part of education that will never go away. Move out of the way notebook paper and pen, though, Quizaline offers a new platform for quizzes that helps both teacher and students. Quizaline tracks students’ progress, provides a means for differential instruction, and gives students instant feedback. Make your quizzes engaging, fun, effective, and authentic.

Sway–Is a program with so many applications.  An ultra modern and slick answer to Powerpoint, Sway also generates high quality newsletters. Get students writing, or teach yourself a new skill for business. Sway is enjoyable and useful for all ages.  like other popular edtech, Sway works through collaboration and access anywhere technology.  Imagine the possibilities!

FluentU– FluentU offers an immersion experience that comes to your classroom. Image being able to take your students into the heart of everyday life in your target language. This platform offers high quality videos to enhance the learning experience and keep students engaged. Even better, FluentU can be used anywhere (including at home) and it tracks students progress.

What are your goals for 2018? Here at Global Learn Day, ours is always to never stop learning and find better ways to connect the world.  These edtech applications can do both.

What edtech would you recommend?

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