Ahhh, The Begining Stages...
Top of the morning, Everyone :)
This past week, my group mates and faculty advisor met up to discuss the next steps to our project. We decided that a rubric made up of 3 or 4 evaluation criteria for the different block languages out there, such as Scratch, Snap, and App Inventor, should be ready by our meeting this week. In this rubric, we will have written down the strengths and weaknesses about each of the block languages, once we asses them. After we have this rurbic set, we will be able to make sure that our own block language will have the good characteristics and improve any of the bad ones as much as possible.
In addition, we will be researching this week the impact of incorporating creativity in block langauges. I feel it is very important to include creativity in coding but also feel it can be very distracting. For instance, on Scratch, some might spend their time picking out characters, but on the other hand not allowing them to do so might uninterest them from the lesson. So, this week I will research the downside of limiting creativity, as well as the benefits of encouraging creativity. Our main goal is to improve the math and literacy skills for these students, and I have a feeling creativity will help since we want to discretely teach students how to code and think computationally in a different manner.
Also, because our research focuses on students in elementary school and on students with learning disabilities, the block language we create should include words they can recognize, like trigger words.
This week, I will be finishing up reading “Lowering the Barriers to Programming: A Taxonomy of Programming Enviroments and Languages for Novice Programmers” by Caitlin Kelleher and Randy Pausch. As well as, begin reading “Integrating inquiry science and language development for English language learners” by authors Trish Stoddart,America Pinal,Marcia Latzke,and Dana Canaday.