October 7th marked another big day for TechWise: we went back to school. I was able to teach three different 4th grade classes the Hour of Code that we teach in our Level 1 Courses. The day was an absolute blast for me and it seemed like the kids had a great time as well.
Some of the great quotes that I heard during the day:
“Did you create YouTube?”
A student asked me when I described computer programming and my role as a software engineer. Sadly, no.
“That was awesome. I beat it!”
This comment repeats itself over and over during our courses and is the primary reason I enjoy these courses so much. When I was first learning Computer Science in college it took me a while to understand the concepts. The teacher was good; however, the syntax of the language itself distracted me from the logical problem solving behind the scenes. Then one day it clicked for me. I suddenly understood completely what I was doing — to the point that my teacher thought I copied my next assignment from the internet. The Hour of Code introduces those logical concepts without the confusing syntax. I’m able to see on their faces that “aha” moment that I didn’t have until freshman year of college.
“This is making my brain hurt but I’m having fun.”
How many times have you said that about something you’re doing? “Good,” I told the student. “That means you’re using critical thinking.” The fact that he was also having fun will make him want to continue learning these concepts.
“Some of my low-level readers picked right up on it.”
My 4th grade host teacher told me this after our first session. Wow. What a humbling experience to provide this sense of accomplishment to students who have had academic difficulties. We want to be able to show students that coding is within reach as a profession. Some introductory college computer science courses try to “weed out” students. Our approach is the opposite: we don’t want students to be afraid of coding or think it’s too hard, we want them to be excited about it and desire to learn more.
If your school is interested in hosting a session (or multiple sessions) for students, please Contact Us. We will do everything we can to make it happen!