#MSFTEduChat highlights: Computer Science and Hour of Code

We had a big discussion about Computer Science, Hour of Code and the upcoming Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) in the November edition of our monthly #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet (Twitter Moment here). Read our announcement post, Computer Science sparks the conversation for November’s #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet, to catch up on all the questions and resources.

Our TweetMeet attracted hundreds of participants from all over the world, with a post-event survey leading us to conclude that newcomers felt particularly welcome to join: 45 percent of the participants had never taken part in a TweetMeet before. Next time, that could be you!

Several of our hosts were so thrilled with all the ideas and resources shared, they each decided to create their own Twitter Moments and help others relive the excitement and take in the handy advice from the event. We’ve assembled some great ones below. For tweets that are originally not in English, the hosts provide English translations of their commentary.

 

Discussion questions

 

 

Question 1 – How can Hour of Code inspire students and teachers to learn more?

 

Elaan Marie wrote:

For teachers that have reluctance or fear, an #HourOfCode activity has a definite end point. “I can do anything for one hour.” And once success has been reached, they will come back.  🙂

Tweet selected by host Brian Dang in his ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Brian’s comment:

Elaan has a message that resonates with me: sometimes teachers are afraid of embracing something like computer science instruction and the Hour of Code. But what makes an activity like the Hour of Code manageable is that it has a defined start and end point: one hour. It relieves the anxiety of personal expectations when you can chunk your personal growth to a few achievable goals at a time.

 

Nina Arróniz Cruz wrote:

Hace que usemos nuevas alternativas para resolver problemas cotidianos, utilizando el lenguaje de la programación. Hay que enseñar el lenguaje computacional igual que como se enseña a leer o calcular.

English translation:

Hour of Code makes us use new solutions to solve everyday problems (thanks to coding). We should teach coding the same way we teach language or math.

Tweet selected by host Francisco Tejeira in his ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Francisco’s commentary in Spanish:

Nina empieza el TweetMeet con una frase contundente, situando el Pensamiento Computacional al mismo nivel en importancia para el aprendizaje de los alumnos que la Lengua o las Matemáticas.

English translation:

Nina begins the TweetMeet with a blunt sentence that places Computational Thinking at the same level of importance in learning as language or mathematics.

 

Muna Bazara wrote in Arabic:

اشارت الى ان من اهم طرق البرمجة هو تحليل المشكلة. وكيف يتم إعادة وصياغتها وتعليم الطلاب طرق حل المشكلات والتفكير الحاسوبي وربطها بمشكلات حقيقه في واقعهم

Tweet selected by Areej Alghamdi in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Areej’s comment:

Muna points out that one of the most important methods of programming is to analyze the problem, how to reformulate and teach students ways to solve problems and computer thinking and linking them to real problems in their reality.

 

Michael Drezek wrote:

Learning with dedicated educators from across the world is a POWERFUL thing!

Tweet selected by host Sacha van Straten in his ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Sacha’s comment:

Mike expresses what for me has become the defining emotion from my experience as a global co-host. Whatever language you speak, wherever in the world you are, we are all educators, driven by the desire to excite, engage and inspire our students. Too often, we forget to take our own medicine! The #MSFTEduChat resolves that issue. In one hour, it’s possible to take away a vast amount of learning and inspiration, harvested from some of the finest educational minds on the planet.

 

Natalija Budinski wrote in Serbian:

Jedan mali korak, kao sto je jedan cas, moze mnogo da promeni. Ucenici mogu da vide da programiranje nije bauk, a nastvnici da kroz malo opustenije aktivnosti zainteresuju ucenike za ovu vestinu 21. veka.

English translation: One small step, as one class, can change a lot. Students can see that coding is not so hard, and teachers can raise the interest for this 21st skill trough relaxed activities.

Tweet selected by host Anica Tričković in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Anica’s comment:

One lesson, one interesting and fun activity, one talk with a right and inspiring professional can be a life changing for some students. If at least one child starts to dream about it and focusing in that direction – we have done so much! And that feeling is precious.

 

Dave Sands wrote:

The #hourofcode provides low floor activities that demystify the fear of coding and computer programming. code.org 

Tweet selected by host Sacha van Straten in his ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Sacha’s comment:

Dave’s response gets to the heart of why Hour of Code is such a brilliant global phenomenon. The ease of access, the clarity of instruction, and the fun that comes from tinkering and exploring, make it a win-win situation for teachers and students.

 

Jawaher Al-Harbi wrote in Arabic:

البرمجة مجال ممتع ومشوق وكلما انتهى المتعلم طالب او معلم من مرحلة ونجح فيها يتحمس للبدءبتجربة ومرحلة جديدة. وهذا يرضي طموحه ويحفزه لتجربة شيء جديد اكثر تحدياً يحقق فيها تقدماً يرضيه

English translation: Programming is a fun and exciting field and the more educated the student or teacher from the stage and the more excited to start a new experience and stage. This satisfies his ambition and motivates him to try something new and more challenging to achieve progress that satisfies him.

Tweet selected by host Monia Mahmoudi in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

 

Marina St. Mirčić wrote in Serbian:

“Sat programiranja” otvara nove vidike svima onima koji žele da probaju nešto novo, a ne moraju ni da poznaju programiranje.

English translation: Hour of code opens new horizons to all who wants to try something new, and they even doesn’t need to know how to code.

Tweet selected by host Anica Tričković in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Anica’s comment: Anyone can code! That is the main motto for the Hour of Code for years now. It doesn’t matter if you have no experience in coding because you can find so many different online or offline activities about first steps and anyone can enter to this world of miracles. You just need to accept the invitation Hour of Code is offering and it can be the life-changing experience.

 

Karyn Fillhart wrote:

FAIL = First Attempt In Learning!

Tweet selected by host Pauline Maas in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Pauline’s comment:

Deze tweet was grappig. Ik gebruik deze regelmatig. First Attempt In Learning. Het is belangrijk dat je leert dat fouten maken mag.

English translation:

This tweet was funny. I use this one often. First Attempt In Learning. It’s important to learn that it’s okay to make mistakes.  

 

Question 2 – What’s your favorite online or offline coding activity? Share stories or pictures.

 

Flor Irod wrote in Spanish:

Me gusta mucho microbit. Soy profesora de inglés y me sirve para proyectos de corta duración donde utilizan el idioma.

English translation:

I like microbit very much. I teach English and I use it for short projects where English is involved.

Tweet selected by host Francisco Tejeira in his ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Francisco’s commentary in Spanish:

Flor da una idea muy sencilla pero efectiva de integrar la programación en el aula de idiomas: usando pequeños proyectos con micro:bit como excusa para adquirir una lengua extranjera.

English translation:

Flor gives a very simple but effective idea of integrating coding in the language classroom: using small projects with micro:bit as an excuse to acquire a foreign language.

 

Sarah Clark wrote:

I’m not a computing teacher but love doing a biology related hour of code activity to help children understand how coding is important for so many jobs. I also share examples of science coders and the jobs they do.

Tweet selected by host Amanda Ford in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Amanda’s comment:

Sarah’s answer shows that CS is everywhere. I love how she uses Computational Thinking in her biology class to help explain concepts. She also does a great job of demonstrating how CS is used in the real world and what scientists use coding for.

Muna Bazara wrote in Arabic:

بدات مع طالبات تعلم المايكروبت وايجاد ابتكارات للبيئة والقضاء على بقايا التلوث الالكترونية

English translation:

I started with teaching micro:bit, creating environmental innovations and eliminating electronic pollution by recycling.

Tweet selected by host Monia Mahmoudi in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

 

Xoliswa Mahlangu wrote:

So hard to choose favourite coding activities because we do so many here @futurenationza. I love our robot mouse Gundi and she offers such a cool into to coding.

Tweet selected by host Pauline Maas in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Pauline’s comment in Dutch:

Zo leuk dat de TweetMeet zo internationaal is, ik had nog nooit een blauwe (beebot) muis gezien. 

English translation:

So nice this #MSFTEduChat is so international. I have never seen this blue coding mouse.

 

Question 3 – How do you see Computational Thinking connecting to other curricular areas?

 

Eric Curnutt wrote:

I plan to do an activity with my class called infection. One #microbit infects the others. An amount of time passes and students find out whether they survived or not. They then write out what they think happened in the activity (ELA, History, Science..plagues)

Tweet selected by host Amanda Calitz in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Amanda’s comment:

I love Eric’s tweet because it is something out of the ordinary that kids can relate to.

 

Charmaine Roynon wrote:

The cornerstones of computational thinking (decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction & algorithmic design) can be applied across the curriculum.

Tweet selected by host Pauline Maas in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Pauline’s comment in Dutch:

Deze 4 posters met de basis begrippen van computational thinking geven aan hoe breed het denken als een computer is.

English translation:

Nice view of the different cornerstones of Computational Thinking.

 

Joumana Kassar wrote in Arabic:

وضحت ان هناك ارتباط وثيق بين ساعة البرمجة وعلاقتها   بتعلم التفكير المنطقي وحل المشكلات وذلك  من خلال تقسيم وتجزئة مراحل الحل والسير في الحل بشكل متدرج خطوة بخطوة.. وبمجرد تنمية هذه المهارات عند المتعلمين يتمكن المتعلم من استخدامها في جميع المواد الدراسية واعتقد ان هذا رائع جدا

Tweet selected by Areej Alghamdi in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Areej’s comment in English:

Joumana explained that there is a close link between the Hour of code and its relationship to learning logical thinking and problem solving by dividing and segmenting the stages of the solution and walking in the solution step by step step by step .. Once these skills are developed by the learner can be used in all subjects and I think this is very wonderful.

 

Elsabé Hart wrote:

Computational Thinking = Problem Solving is a Skill4Life!!

Tweet selected by host Amanda Calitz in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

 

Xoliswa Mahlangu wrote:

Computational thinking is a basic literacy in this era that we live and every kid should have an opportunity to learn it so that they can be contributors to society

Tweet selected by host Amanda Calitz in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Amanda’s comment:

I like these two tweets about Computational Thinking because I think that it is a very important part of today’s life

 

Lynn Thomas wrote:

In English class, computational thinking occurs all the time through writing process – break down & analyze writing structures, look for the patterns between structures & algorithmic thinking is the writing process itself.

Tweet selected by host Sacha van Straten in his ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Sacha’s comment:

Lynn’s comment expresses the power of computational thinking across the curriculum. People can find the idea of CT’s applicability in cross-curricular environments strange, but it’s a tool that can bring new insights to any subject.

 

Question 4 – How can learning coding skills have impact beyond the classroom?

 

Conversation between Sacha van Straten and Amanda Calitz:

Amanda:

I’ve seen it building self-esteem. It helps with problem solving. I think that a child should learn to code from a very young age.

Sacha:

@AmandaCalitz this is an often overlooked element. I have boys who don’t quite fit into the school vibe, but they come to my lab and find their voice, their value, their purpose. People may think #computing is dry but we unlock doors.

Tweet conversation selected by host Sacha van Straten in his ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Sacha’s comment:

A4 I know, it might seem indulgent to refer to something that includes myself. But, Amanda’s comment really struck a chord with me. Some of my students who struggle to find an outlet to express themselves, find solace and inspiration in the many ways Computing offers a language, space, and environment where everybody is equal. It’s one of the aspects of my role that I love the most. Perseverance and creativity seep into the core of who we are and what we do. It’s powerful magic.

 

Piia Martikainen wrote:

Coding improves your problem solving skills. “Learning through mistakes” in safe environment.

Tweet selected by host Amanda Ford in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

 

Brian Aspinall wrote:

Coding or not, the ultimate goal of everything we do in schools should have a positive impact on students outside of the classroom.

Tweet selected by host Brian Dang in his ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Brian Dang’s comment:

Brian Aspinall reminded us that no matter what we teach our students, the end result we really want is students who are driven by the desire to have a positive impact on those around them. It’s that spirit that fuels humanity.

 

Gloria Enrique wrote in Spanish:

Totalmente de acuerdo!! Y ayuda a estudiantes a ver que a veces hay que intentar diferentes soluciones antes de llegar a la correcta. Lo importante no es caer pero como nos levantamos y lo que aprendemos de ello.

English translation:

Totally agreed! It also helps students realize they have to try different possibilities before reaching the correct one. It’s not important if we fall down, what really matters is the way we get up and learn from failure.

Tweet selected by host Francisco Tejeira in his ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Francisco’s comment in Spanish:

Gloria propone una de las habilidades más importantes que se adquieren con el Pensamiento Computacional: aprender de los errores y buscar soluciones de forma creativa.

English translation:

Gloria proposes one of the most important skills acquired with Computational Thinking: learn from mistakes and look for solutions in a creative way.

 

Samit Saini wrote:

My life has totally transformed because of the support from @8bitclassroom & the @PowerApps @MicrosoftFlow #PowerBI community. I struggled at school but learning PowerApps has enabled to empower others to say if I can create #Powerapps you can to.

Tweet selected by host Brian Dang in his ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Brian’s comment:

Samit Saini is an example of someone whose life has been changed from learning to code. I have always known Samit to be a learner. In our first interaction, he had asked me a question on how to do something in PowerApps. Today, he is taking what he has learned and teaching others. And since then, he has continued his education by completing an apprenticeship for maths and reading. I am inspired by his effort again and again.

 

Doug Bergman (also a host this month) wrote:

#MSFTEduChat Just like writing or reading…programming is an additional form of communication. It can reach people in different ways than other media. Computer Science can give people a different set of skills to express their ideas.

Tweet selected by host Amanda Ford in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

 

Wafa Saadaoui wrote in Arabic:

لقد ذكرت هنا امر مهم جدا وهو دور البرمجة في مساعدة التلاميذ على الابتعاد عن الألعاب الخطيرة حيث يصبح  المتعلم اكثر قدرة على  ابتكار لعبته الخاصة و يكون المتعلم منتج للمعرفة بدل ان يكون مستهلك

Tweet selected by Areej Alghamdi in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Areej’s comment in English:

She said here a very important  role for programming in helping learner to move away from the dangerous games, where the learner is more able to invent his own game and a producer knowledge instead of being a consumer.

 

Question 5 – What are your next steps following this TweetMeet?

 

Tea and Toast wrote:

Just discovered @PowerApps via #MSFTEduChat.

Tweet selected by host Brian Dang in his ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Brian’s comment:

What I like about @teaandtoast’s is they left the TweetMeet having learned about PowerApps. This is vital since it’s our goal to share ideas and resources with others in the discussion.

 

Ana Živković wrote in Serbian:

Spojićemo #profesionalnuorijentaciju sa učenjem engleskog jezika preko razgovora @SkypeClassroom sa programerima mps-eventreg.com/gk/g/hbrawubAjbE-797

English translation: We will connect professional orientation with learning English through @SkypeClassroom with Code Creators mps-eventreg.com/gk/g/hbrawubAjbE-797

Tweet selected by host Anica Tričković in her Twitter Moment.

Anica’s comment:

Skype in the Classroom is so useful because you can learn about different things and at the same time, without leaving your classroom, you can inspire your students by connecting them to real professionals. Skype in the Classroom is always trying to offer something interesting and different, and meeting the Code Creators is their special offer during the Hour of Code in December. And what can be more inspiring than meeting and talking with the role models students have today?

 

Malek Gargouri wrote in Arabic:

بعد متابعة النقاش على TweetMeet سأقوم بحث مزيد من المتعلمين و المعلمين على تخصيص وقت لتعلم البرمجة و المشاركة في الاحتفالات العالمية للبرمجة و علم الحاسوب وخاصة في المناسبة العالمية “ساعة برمجة”

English translation: After continuing the discussion on Tweetmeet, I will invite more learners and teachers to devote time to learning programming and participating in the international programming and computer science celebrations, especially at the global event Hour of code.

Tweet selected by host Monia Mahmoudi in her ⚡ Twitter Moment.

 

Xoliswa Mahlangu wrote:

After this TweetMeet, I want to experiment more and allow my students to experience technology at its best. I want allow my kids to dream in code and build their own future.

Tweet selected by host Brian Dang in his ⚡ Twitter Moment.

Brian’s comment:

I like the way Xoliswa Mahlangu describes her goal for students to ‘dream in code’ and ‘build their future.’ I have always told my students that the jobs that are available today might not be there when they become adults. And it is more likely that they will invent the jobs of the future. It is for that reason that they need to learn problem-solving skills to stay current.

 

Next month: a special-edition #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet for Best of 2018

 

Thank you to all our hosts, once again! We are closing this successful year of #MSFTEduChat events with a special-edition TweetMeet on Tuesday, December 18. Many former #MSFTEduChat hosts from the past two and a half years are returning as a TweetMeet Alumnus to welcome you in discussing the products, developments, news, events, resources and people that inspired you and your students the most in the past year.

Be sure to stay on the look-out for our announcement blog post in the week before the event.

 

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