If you've ever seen my TEDxTokyoTeachers talk, The Guitar and the Smarthphone, on the importance of teaching programming in schools, you'd know that I think teaching programming in schools is...well...important! In that spirit, I recently co-taught a grade 10 math lesson with one of my talented colleagues - our goal was to increase student understanding of mathematical functions through programming and to have them apply their knowledge and demonstrate understanding in a new context, in this case, web programming.
The first three functions were programmed, but the last four were not. The students were challenged to create the code that would allow the final four functions to work.
This was accomplished in class under my guidance that of their math teacher, Mr. Ito. The students did an excellent job and managed to get them working within the class period.
I was wrong.
Here is what Mr. Ito had to say:
Last class, we ran each student's code on the projector and tested to see if it worked (and there was applause each time!) All but two worked but then they had other students look over their code and point out some errors.
This really says it all - students literally applauding each other's accomplishments - and peer learning at its finest.
This is a great lesson to introduce a true 21st century skill - and as far as 21st century skills go, programming beats blogging any day!
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