Image from Pixabay
Last week our Premier announced that all students from kindergarten to Grade 12 in British Columbia will have the opportunity to learn the basics of coding.
The education community and concerned citizens responded with many questions and frustrations, mostly about the lack of funding attached to this announcement.
Coding is just another skill that is needed to understand how our modern world works, like learning about electricity and structures. I don’t think there is an expectation for everyone to become master coders after they graduate from our school system. Coding can be complicated. Kids aren’t going to be developing apps overnight nor is there an expectations that they do so. Some will take to it and eventually may have a career that heavily involves it; some will just grasp a beginners knowledge of it. Both results are fine. I think it’s great that what many teachers in the province are already exposing their students to is officially being put into our curriculum.
With that said, ideally it would have been nice for some sort of plan and funding to be released. Despite this, we need not panic. Here are some coding resources that do not require any tech hardware, internet connection, or a computer science degree to implement. They also won’t break the bank.
Computer Science Unplugged
This website is filled with no tech options to teach students computational thinking through games and puzzles that use materials you can easily find.
The no tech board and card game industry is growing every month, with new great titles added. Here are some suggestions.
Robot Turtles 2-4 players, Ages 4+
In Robot Turtles, players decide how their Robot Turtle moves on a game board with the goal to reach a jewel to win. There are different variations that can be played depending on players’ experience.
Code Monkey Island 3-4 Players, Ages 8+
Players are leaders of tribes of monkeys. The goal is to take your tribe around the board avoiding quick sand traps to a banana grove and score some fruit along the way.
The Code Master Programming1 player, Ages 8+
In Code Master, your Avatar will travel to an exotic world in search of power Crystals, but only one specific sequence of actions will lead to success.
Bits and Bytes 2-4 Players Ages 4+
Bits & Bytes is a card game. The goal is for each player to guide their character by giving them directions. At the same time they have to avoid obstacles like walls, bugs and the Seepeeu (CPU).
Robo Rally 2-8 Players, Ages 12+
Robo Rally is a board game where you control a robot to meet goals in a race across a factory floor. The factory is filled with obstacles like pits, lasers conveyor belts and other robots to slow you down or destruct you. The first robot to claim all the goals in the correct order wins.
Another area of great development are gadgets that don’t need any devices, hardware, or a WiFi connection. Here are some that are perfect for early learners.
Throught the buttons on top of Bee Bot, children are able to enter a sequence of directions for Bee Bot to follow. Bee Bot blinks and beeps at the end of each command and allows children to follow the sequence. It is very easy to use and there are many games and projects teaches have created to challenge Bee Bot and students.
Pro Bot is a robot in the form of a race car. Just like Bee Bot, children can enter a sequence of directions for Pro-Bot to follow using the directional arrows on top. It also has a mode that allows users to add numbers for distances and degrees for movement.
Cubetto is a wooden block robot that is paired with a board that sends programs to it. Children use blocks and place them on the board. These blocks give Cubetto instructions on where to move.
Yes! You can teach coding with no tech or low tech!
If anyone has more resources that can be added to this list, please add it in the comments section below.