The digital era has forced all of us to adapt. Our students are often referred to as digital natives–the idea here being that they have grown up with the digital landscape surrounding their daily life activities. As we’ve grown in The Studio, we recognized that several of our students, even as ninth graders, were heavily involved in learning coding and webdesign. My partner in crime, Nic Carroll, has been our technology Sherpa the last three years, guiding our students through the changing time of computer languages and equipping our students to implement their ideas into real-life projects. There is some incredible products being developed by our students that all begins with testing the limits of computer language in our students in our PBL classroom. The best part? These webdesigns and manipulations incorporate important academic standards in social studies and language arts all the time. There is still a learning curve to all of it, but what we’re seeing, especially out of our current freshmen, is a desire to push boundaries and really learn the content through their design work. (They take great pride in what they create!) This year has opened my eyes to the need for me to know more about these languages.
This summer I will spend a good deal of time at CodeAcademy.com. The site has a plethora of easy-to-follow tutorials and practices to learn coding languages. If you’re anything like me and lack some of the more complicated computer skills, then this is a great place to learn. We already send students here all the time to learn on their own at times. My goal is to learn at least html 5 this summer and maybe more. The idea is that I’ll be able to help my students further their tech-in-project capabilities if I too am more proficient in my knowledge.
If you’re using a lot of tech in your current PBL classroom, or just want to do more in your regular classroom, consider going to Code Academy or at the least sending your students there!