The one problem with coding in schools

It’s obvious that coding is coming to schools strongly in different countries around the globe. This is all good and will give future generations more skills working with computers, right?

I see a problem here, which is programming transforming from something very creative to a factory job. When programming is introduced to schools in such a massive way, it’s clear that teachers haven’t had time to really dive in to that subject. Don’t get me wrong; some of them are. But can you really expect from older teacher to use hours of them free time to study world of programming with absolytely 0 pay for their time?

Due the lack of time, we can reason that teachers rely widely to available resources like code.org. But this setting also means that programming becomes more like

  1. Question
  2. The one and only solution.

In the ideal world, after learning basics, students would start to desing their own programs, something they find interesting. But if the teacher is not really familiar with the subject, it’s hard to support that. I admit that this may still be possible in simple training environments such as Scratch, but you can’t stay with these simple environments forever.

Here is the personal confession of this post: I have studied computer science alongside with mathematics in university and made some projects along the years. I’m sometimes embarrassed how little I know. So many programming languages. So many libraries in those languages I know. Many of those languages could be justified to be teached for young people. There is enormous difference with my other subject, maths: Students can’t ask me a math question that I couldn’t answer.

And what is the problem if people are programming like robots? The answer is that they will be replaced with robots. So studying only the basics of programming won’t pay off. And what about motivational effect? We really can’t say. It’s likely that some students will get carried towards coding and others from it.

We have to make sure that programming will stay as creative job as it is on its best. That is done by making sure that students have specialized teachers on their reach.

Top 10 new & free puzzle downloads in TPT in October 2019

I’ll be listing here 10 new free puzzle resources from Teachers Pay Teachers. Grade level is mostly from upper elementary to middle school, so there is no kindergarten/preschool resources in this list. Most of them are very recent, but there might be slightly older resources among these to make it full 10. List is ordered by grade level.

Word Search Activity – “Autumn Words” – Fall – Grades 3-4
The title (which is in fact longer) says it all
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Weekly-Freebie-25-Word-Search-Activity-Autumn-Words-Fall-Grades-3-4-4902027

Animal picture puzzle task cards (3-5)
Find a value for each (cute!) animal
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Animal-Picture-Puzzle-Task-Cards-1-3561827

Halloween Word Search Puzzles (3-7)
Yes, it’s October and I’m sure you are already filled with pumpkins, but I got one Halloween relater resource for you
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Halloween-Word-Search-Puzzles-4922065

Word search puzzles Canada (grades 3-8)
Three word search puzzles about cities, mountains and rivers in Canada. Answer key is also included and if you want to, you can colour the flag on the cover page!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Word-search-puzzles-Canada-Freebie-4908569

La Fecha (4-12)
Spanish cross wordpuzzle
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/La-Fecha-4921404

Pirate math polar buried treasure (grades 6-8)
Title mentions math, I’d say you also need some skills in English language, especially about common phrases. But looks interesting!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pirate-Math-Chapter-3-Polar-Buried-Treasure-FREE-4758584

Introduction to Fiber Optics (Grades 6-11)
I’m always a fan when something more specialised comes along, such as this introduction to fiber optics. Same seller had other similar products too, but I’m only listing one per seller here.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Introduction-to-Fiber-Optics-4902695

Pirates & Cannibals logic puzzle (7-12)
This is listed under computer science, but it’s purely logic puzzle. I think you could use it with slightly younger students.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pirates-Cannibals-4926895

Logigramme (Grades 9-12)
Logic puzzle in French! It says grades 9-12 but I think it would suit for younger students too, if they have some basic French vocabulary already.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Logigramme-Joyeux-Anniversaire-3513058

Common polyatomic word search tile letter pattern (11-higher education)
I have to admit that I didn’t quite get the concept on first read but hey, this was for smart people! I’m looking forward to see what he produces next.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/COMMON-POLYATOMIC-Word-Search-TILE-LETTER-PATTERN-4908972

Enjoy these and other free resources!