Technology in education is always a very hot topic, and at The Wheatlands Elementary we are working to get kids prepared for jobs that may not even exist today! One of the ways that we do that is to participate in the “Hour of Code”. This movement is something put out by Computer Science Education Week with the goal of getting students around the world to learn about coding and computer science. At The Wheatlands, students have been doing this in LRC for the past few years, learning from basic apps like “BeeBot” and “Hopscotch”. If you check out this website at code.org, you can have access to even more coding opportunities.
One exciting experiment that we are trying this year at The Wheatlands is combining this with music class. Our 5th grade students are using coding and music knowledge to create a band on their computers using a programming site called “Scratch” put out by M.I.T. during their music and LRC time. The pictures accompanying this article show students working and also give you a glimpse of what their coding looks like. The code pictured here from scratch directly shows what the programming of the song “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. Students’ knowledge of the number of beats that a symbol receives and their ability to read music on the staff help them create long blocks of code that can be played by the computer!
Another thing that is going to help us use our technology more wisely is the addition of Google logons for our students. A letter went home in early December with the exciting news of these logons for elementary students which means that teachers and students will be able to use our newly purchased chrome books in exciting new ways. Students will be able to work on papers and projects together with GoogleDocs, and teachers will have access to all of their projects to comment and help them with the click of a button. Technology at The Wheatlands is going strong!