You Don’t Need a Device to Teach Students Code
By now, all schools are aiming to teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills to their students. Why? Experts have made it abundantly clear that the students with a STEM-based education will be more successful in the future. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, “Employment in occupations related to STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022.”
Coding, in particular, is one of the best ways to teach STEM skills in the classroom. However, many teachers hesitate to teach coding because they either think it will be too difficult, time-consuming, or costly. They are wrong. You can teach your students to code without devices.
The STEM Skills Your Students Need
The reason STEM skills are being taught in the classroom is that they are the skills that will make students successful in the future. However, many of the same skills students learn from computer coding can be taught without the computer. For example, coding teaches problem-solving, collaboration, critical thinking, analytical thinking, logical thinking, and creativity. While all these skills can be taught through regular computer coding lessons, these same skills can be taught without the computer. In fact, teachers have been teaching students to “think” since the beginning.
But What if Your Students Don’t Have a Computer?
Naturally, it is easier to teach coding if all your students have access to computers. However, many schools in urban or rural districts do not have reliable computers or internet service. Plus, their students often do not have a computer at home. Therefore, teachers must think outside of the computer. How can you teach your students the basics of coding without a computer? With games, math, paper, dice, and more! There are entire websites with lesson plans designed for this very purpose. Both CS Fundamentals Unplugged (from Code.org) and CS Unplugged provide educators with lesson plans to teach computer science skills (including coding) without a computer.
The Hour of Code
Additionally, the popular Hour of Code program is a great way to introduce your students to coding. While it is helpful if your students can have access to computers for this one week of coding introduction, you can participate in the hour of code without a computer for each student and even without a computer at all. For example, they suggest having students do pair programming in classrooms without enough devices.
Even without a device, you can show your students what is possible with coding – and have fun at the same time!