Monday, September 23, 2019

2019 #VWEDU: #DTA: Coding and virtual worlds: a marriage made in computers. The DTA could officiate


Coding and virtual worlds: 
a marriage made in computers. 
The DTA could officiate

Coding, or computer programming, teaches valuable skills that transfer to other parts of life.  It teaches planning skills that are needed by anyone who is going to plan later in life.   

Coding is the literacy of the 21st century. Coding is a universal language we need to teach children of all ages. But we don't teach it to help students learn a new language, rather to understand the essence of computational thinking. Computational thinking is the fabric of the 21st century.

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Thinking like a computer program

Consider the superset

  • A superset is the collection of things that fit your concept AND other similar things.
  • Algorithmic and Agile are still about computer programming.
  • Procedural looks beyond computer programming to a larger set.
  • Design and planning go way beyond computer programming.
  • Although planning is a major component (subset) of computer programming.

How do you teach computational thinking?

  • A course in coding is a start.
  • Coding courses for kids
  • But the valuable skill set comes from algorithm development.
  • An algorithm is a detailed plan for doing something.   
  • When the plan tells a computer what to do, the computer can test the plan.
  • The computer can test at negligible cost and no risk.
  • Errors are part of the cost of learning--all programmers learn that.  
  • "If you can't make mistakes, you can't make anything."
  • Testing and debugging are part of algorithm development.  
  • Most plans can't be fully tested till they are implemented.  Costs and risks there.  
  • Not so with computer programs.  Safe sandbox for practicing planning skills.
  • That is one of the advantages of virtual worlds.

DTA articles

General

Development considerations

Possible services, education

DTA content pages

New century education

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