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Regaining Creativity in the Classroom with WL

Posted 5 years ago
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It's Computer Science week and I'm volunteering at local schools to support the Hour of Code. Today was Day 2 and I visited two 4th grade and four 5th grade classes. Here are the kiddos that I worked with today:

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The sessions were held either during their library time or enrichment class where each student had their own Chromebook. Wolfram's decision to take Wolfram Language to the cloud was brilliant. Without downloading any software, the students are able to go to a website and start programming immediately. I walked the students through Getting Started and Draw a Sphere today in the Wolfram Programming Lab. During the last class of the day, I heard a girl say:

Look look at what I just did...I created a sphere. And I made it green! This is awesome.

I realized that not only were the students playing around and having fun coding, but they were able to create in the digital space. Let me explain. In K-2nd grade, most students are accustomed to drawing, cutting, pasting...creating things to showcase their understanding. It's true that even in high school there are opportunities for students to "create", but not as prevalent as in the elementary grades.

Programming in the Wolfram Language gave the students an opportunity to create a whole host of things digitally. All the students could point to their code and feel proud of their creation. Even if it was only calculating 123*456 or generating a purple cone.

Students are accustom to using phones, tablets and computers. It seems necessary to give students the opportunity to create for this digital space. That's what they're interested in...that's what they care about.

Go beyond the Hour of Code and give students the skills to explore their digital creativity.

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