Few people know that I originally began my collegiate years with a minor in computer science. It was the early 90s and it seemed like a good idea to jump on board with a potential career that was up and coming. If the teaching thing didn’t work out, I’d have something to fall back on. Unfortunately, I loathed programming. Perhaps it was because it was the era of the Pascal language, but more than likely, it was because I just hated sitting behind my computer for hours on end.
Fast forward to today. I spend hours behind my laptop, but I leave the programming to others. However, I am excited that my 6th grader will be participating in the Hour of Code this week. It isn’t because I think she will become a computer programmer. Rather, it is because of the potential to foster a love for problem solving. Infrequently is she provided with an opportunity to solve complex problems in school. She’s given mostly low level Bloom’s work that, on occasion, pushes her into the realm of application and evaluation. I have yet to see much at the creation level. Thus, it is my hope that her hour of coding will expose her to the real potential that I know she, and her classmates, possess. I want it to tap into their desire to solve problems.
However, the Hour of Code isn’t enough. It is time that we maximize the problem solving capital that we have. Rather than making school a chore that many students find it, let’s vow to turn it into a destination where all learners find relevancy in the authentic challenges that connect directly to the content and standards that we are required to teach.
What are some ways in which you are using the Hour of Code to promote problem solving skill development in your leaners?