The rapid development of technology has led to a digital transformation all over the world. Technology has settled into every part of our lives and has introduced us to new concepts, devices, and coding languages.
Coding, which is seen as the new common language of humanity, is defined by futurists as a necessity for all professions in the future because it improves individuals’ algorithmic and analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills, developing the ability to produce multiple solutions.
Because of this, Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, said: “I think everyone should learn computer programming because it teaches people how to think. I see computer science as a social science. This must be something that everyone learns.”
Coding is not futuristic ideas. The ability to perform sequential operations and sort commands is the cognitive beginning of coding. We have already opened our doors to code by giving commands to the many devices in our lives. For example, operating the washing machine without the spin cycle or setting the coffee machine to make coffee at 07:00 are just some of the encoded commands we give by pressing a button.
These changes in the 21st century have brought innovations to our lives as well as to the world of education. According to a 21 country survey conducted by the European School Network in 2015, there are 18 European countries that are adding or considering coding education in their curriculum. In addition, there is heavy investing in coding studies in the United States with educational activities conducted by both educational institutions and companies. In fact, the United States’ catchphrase to students “Anyone can learn to code” has been embraced by the whole world and has become an global student activity. Coding in Middle School education has become mandatory in Turkey. Acknowledging this change, our school has increased the course hours for Information Technologies to two hours a week at all levels of the Primary School and has provided elaborate lessons on coding.
The EU Coding Week, which was celebrated in all European countries from 5 to 21 October, took place at our school via various activities. Our students carried out analog and block-based coding activities in their classes from first grade to fourth grade.
Grade 1 students completed a coding activity with working papers and worked on analog coding.
Grade 2 students used a binary code system to uncover hidden photographs. Using the binary code and the patterns they learned in mathematics lessons, students made wristband designs with their binary encoded initials hidden in the wristband’s colors.
Grade 3 students analyzed why we do coding and what are its benefits by conducting a block-based coding activity at their own level on code.org. They used coding to make the Dash & Dot robot move a physical vehicle.
Grade 4 students brainstormed examples of coding in our lives and created containing conditions code blocks that fit their level on code.org. In addition, they used coding accessories to create a sequence of events using different accessories from the Dash training robot. Meeting in front of the computer laboratory during breaks and lunch breaks, all Primary School students participated in various coding workshops.
Being aware of the fact that coding and technology has an important place in the world of education, we design our curriculum to meet the needs of our students. We take guidance from John Dewey’s unforgettable words:
“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”
–Educational Technology Department