A few weeks ago, I spotted a cool course on Tanya’s (Rattle and Mum) Facebook page. She shared a Code Space event which I signed Bradley up to, and he’s just spent the last 2 days there with his friend.
Code Space is a digital literacy held for kids in Grades 5 to 7. It’s a course (by Thinkahead) held over 3 mornings in Sandton, and the aim is to teach the kids basic programming skills and to get them started with coding games and doing a bit of robotics too!
I thought it was an awesome idea, but I must say, it did take some coaxing to get the boys a little interested in it. They only agreed to let me sign them up for the first 2 days, they weren’t sure about the robotic toy idea.
Here’s the structure of the 3 days:
CodeSpace 1 – children will be introduced to the basics of computer programming.
CodeSpace 2 – children will design their own games, art and animations.
CodeSpace 3 – children will explore the real life application of coding through robotic toys.
Yesterday, they were really eager to get going, and I left them at the Sandton Library armed with iPads and headphones.
However, when I picked them up, there were 2 bored faces that awaited me. Turns out, the first day was similar to what they’ve learnt at school already, albeit with another program.
Day 1 taught them the basics of using Hopscotch. It’s an iPad app designed to teach you how to code. I’ve actually played around with it before, and it’s really cool and pretty simple to use. By the end of day 1, the boys were making objects (and monkeys) move around the screen, and creating shapes etc on their games that they’d created.
And they really weren’t sure they would learn much the next day, so it was a bit of a struggle to get them there again.
Day 2 however, seems to have been fantastic. They loved it.
They learnt how to code proper games using Hopscotch, and Bradley has created quite a few that work quite well. He’s published one or two… and he was so thrilled when he got home and saw that someone had shared one of his games. He then spent some time this evening showing Connor what he’d made, and they both played on the new games a bit.
The kids loved it so much, they want to do more now. They’re keen to get signed up for the CodeSpace events next holidays. They now want to do the robotics day, and then learn more too! I’m keen for them to do it too! I’m going to keep watching out for ThinkAhead and CodeSpace events now.