MIEExpert Spotlight #16: Hawa Patel says that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn to code…

This is the sixteenth post in the series “MIEExpert Spotlight for South Africa”. The tab with all the posts can be found at http://bit.ly/1ZYy8Z7. Today we focus on Hawa Patel from Johannesburg who is one of our Microsoft’s #MIEExperts for 2016 from South Africa. Hawa is the Deputy Principal at Roshnee Islamic School and she is also HOD in CAT/IT/ICT and Life Orientation. Hawa has gained other Microsoft titles in previous years namely #MS Innovative teacher 2011 and #MIEE 2014

 With the advance in technology .and the addiction to social media and gaming, learners can be introduced to programming as young as Grade 5 level. Coding/programming teaches children to think logically, creatively and also refines their problem solving abilities. We need to teach the way the way children learn!

The benefits of using the code.org website

In the December holidays as part of my #MIEExpert program, I decided to run coding classes which included our primary school learners and teachers. I was impressed with the nonprofit foundation website CODE.ORG as it shares plenty of useful online resources and Apps. I decided to test my Grade 5 son by allowing him to follow the STAR WARS tutorial and was amazed at how he enjoyed coding. Furthermore he felt he had achieved well when he received a certificate on completion of the course . This inspired me to start introducing coding to my Grade 8 learners as part of my computer literacy curriculum.

Last week I taught them to code movements through animation in SCRATCH using different Sprites. I was fascinated to see how learners were glued to their screens amazed at what they could create! Its fascinating to see how learners arrange and rearrange Scratch block to animate creative programs using their creative and logical skills with the use of the drag and drop interphase.

Introducing ‘çoding’ or as we say in South Africa, ‘programming’, can be initially challenging to introduce, but once the kids grasps the basic concepts they can design amazing programs that will build confidence and teach problem solving, creativity and logic at an early age. If you would like to teach kids to problem-solve at an early age of around 7 and 8 years then let them try games like LIGHT BOT and many other available apps that will also teach problem solving and communication skill.

Virtual Reality games have become popular with children who enjoy using technology and in the process are also engaged in learning. This is also a visual way of teaching children and allowing themselves to express themselves. The Virtual reality games have a visual way of imparting knowledge through play.

Children are our future so let’s invest in them.
Introducing coding or as we say in South Africa, programming ,
can be initially challenging to introduce but once the kids grasps the basic
concepts they can design amazing programs that will build confidence and teach
problem solving, creativity and logic at an early age for a brighter future.

Get involved in the Microsoft MIEE program in 2017

If you are a teacher who likes to be innovative in the classroom, think about entering Microsoft’s Innovative Teacher MIEExpert program in 2017 when applications reopen later. You can learn more about the program at this link: http://bit.ly/1H4gKcB on the Microsoft Educator Community.

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