Code is Beautiful

I can absolutely see why so many schools are thinking of making coding a "foreign language" equivalent to allow students to learn computer science without negatively impacting their schedules. Twitch is a great tool for creating the interactive game and I enjoyed learning how to use it, but the coding was about to drive me crazy.

Before starting, I thought the hardest part would be creating a story line, but I was wrong. A story of this type really does evolve as you go, and the hard part turned out to be learning how to update code, create links that were creative and yet intuitive, and of course, how to kill off the character.

I was thinking of how we could implement this in academics, and I realized that this could be a great tool not only for ELA, obviously, as part of a narrative writing workshop, but also for Social Studies. Imagine if students were given the ability to "rewrite" history. Such as "If we should drop the bomb on Hiroshima, click here" or "If we should negotiate verbally, click here." Then students could create alternative endings to historical events, and really learn how the cause and effect of history works. 

For ENL learners, I noticed that you can code in your native language, and write the story in your native language, which is a huge benefit. I know the Arabic students in my school are so pleased when they can write and read in their native language because so often they are stuck feeling stupid for not understanding the classwork, but in reality are very bright students with a language deficit. In learning this game and running the tutorial, I sensed a greater feeling of empathy for these students as I knew what I wanted to write, but I had to learn how to get my ideas across in a new format. I believe that using this program could impart that same empathy to our native language speakers towards our nonnative speakers, fostering a culture of tolerance and kindness.

 

Link to my story: Pristineville

Also - my son is a huge fan of create your own adventure stories, and often makes them up on the fly in the car offering the choices to people live and in person. He had been working on a game like this in scratch, but the ability to edit and link was limited. He is SO excited to learn about this program, and has already started his new story. I am so grateful to have taken this class and be able to offer him something that we can do together that he actually enjoys, rather than just an activity he tolerates for his mother's sake!

 

    • Amanda Tsaktsirlis
      Amanda Tsaktsirlis

      Susan, I enjoyed reading your story and appreciated how you gave players three options as opposed to myself only giving them two options. I too found the coding to be a bit tricky to get the hang of at first. That's nice that you are able to connect this course to not only your career but with your son as well. Great work!

      • Maria Minafra
        Maria Minafra

        Susan, you did a great job with your story! It was very creative and I liked how you included three options instead of the usual 2. 

      Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2018

      Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2018

      Here is the online home for CS for Teachers.

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