What do Edmodo, Twitter, Instagram, and even this blog have in common? Computer code. Considered one of the most important skills of the 21st century, coding can be difficult to teach in the high school classroom; complicated coding concepts often present challenges to engaging students and encouraging classroom interaction.
A technology teacher for 15 years, I was excited to discover LearnStreet, a free app available from the Edmodo Store. With a comprehensive list of lessons and crash courses in a variety of programming languages, LearnStreet makes it easy to teach students how to code–whether or not you teach computer science.
Modernized Lesson Plans
Inspired by the popularity of Angry Birds, Candy Crush, and Words with Friends, I’m currently teaching a course on game development. In addition to assigning coding projects students enjoy working on, I also want them to learn Python, a basic programming language many top college computer science programs include in their introductory curriculum.
LearnStreet makes studying Python easy and fun by breaking difficult concepts down into components and requiring students to constantly write code. And when students complete the Python course during computer labs, they help each other get through and understand the material.
Positive Student Reaction
LearnStreet gives students immediate gratification; they can only progress in the lesson with the right code. The course is very interactive, and students get instant feedback once their code is submitted. At the end of my game development course, students were asked to code their own game–an assignment they were eager to do.
Within a week, the students became familiar with the basics of Python and better prepared for the game development projects I created for the course. Soon, students who dreaded taking computer science were proud of what they accomplished and approached me about learning more programming languages–the best response a teacher can hope for!
Enter the Class Coding Challenge and Win Classroom Supplies
LearnStreet has been a great experience for me and my classroom, and is highly recommended for teachers who want to give students skills relevant in today’s workforce. To ensure you have the tools you need to take full advantage of the app’s capabilities, LearnStreet has just launched a contest on Edmodo, in which classrooms can compete to win prizes, including cash, tablets, headphones, and laptop bags.
To find out more, or add LearnStreet to one of your groups, visit the Edmodo Store today!
This is a guest post by Patricia Medina, a high school technology teacher at Clear Creek Independent School District near Houston, Texas. Patricia has been teaching for over 20 years and is passionate about robotics. She sponsors the Vex robotics team for Clear Brook High School and helps sponsor the districts FIRST robotics team, Team 118 The Robonauts. Connect with Patricia on Edmodo