I’m tired of hearing from educators that five-year-old’s “can’t.” Five-year-old’s can do much more than we all give them credit for.
Last week I was at the third convening of INNOVATE-NJ, where a teacher spoke about all of the things her first graders are doing including the following:
- flipped classroom IN class
- use of Chromebooks/iPads daily
- creating and using QR codes daily
I was fascinated by the presentation. It tied into what I had witnessed in person just a couple of days before, when I had the chance to attend (and not present at) Ed-Camp South Jersey. The board was packed as always, but I wanted to see something that I could take away and use in my craft.
My first takeaway was the Ozobot presentation by Kim Mattina who conducted a fantastic conversation on how any student on any level can code. The simplicity of such was somewhat ridiculous.
Ozobot works on a simple key coloring system; when the ozobot goes over a pattern of colors, it does something. Thus, if you draw a pattern with a black line, the ozobot will follow that. If you create a pattern of green and black squares, the ozobot will accelerate. Various color patterns created various tricks, and, within four minutes of Kim’s presentation, all of us were experimenting with patterns…or what the edu-hipsters call “coding.”
Kim then branched out into how different subjects could use the ozobots. She covered everything from health classes to science. The creativity was infectious. My brain was doing cartwheels, always circling back to how kindergarten students can do this. Yes, a five-year-old can code.
To recap, in less than 48 hours, I saw two demonstrations of how teachers use coding in class. They don’t know each other, they don’t share any educational commonalities, and they weren’t told to do it, yet both presented clear examples of 5-year-old’s who can code.