In order to further expand my coding skills, I went to perennial favorite, Hour of Code to explore more coding sites. Several students had referenced Flappy Bird so I signed up. I am so proud to say that I flew through all 10 levels within a relatively short time. Ha! Jokes on me. Although I progressed to higher levels, I have no real gaming skills,therefore my bird crashed into obstacles almost immediately! My coding was exemplary, my gaming skills were sorely lacking! Apparently, I clicked too fast, or not fast enough. Before I could get my bearings and the right rhythm, the game was over and I couldn’t really “look” at my coding. In order for me to “teach” coding at my after school club, I prefer to have personally progressed through the levels. This is a matter of familiarity, credibility, and most of all, bragging rights. There are certain students who cannot face being outdone by the librarian! As far as allowing students to go to Flappy Bird, I would allow the more experienced students to go ahead and use it, but I would not walk the class through the initial levels as I have in the Minecraft or Angry Bird games, which require more methodical thinking.
I also tried Kodable, and I fully acknowledge that what I am about to say is ridiculous, but the character voice and music is really annoying and I would not be able to tolerate those sounds for any amount of time.Additionally, the games didn’t seem as intuitive as the other games.
I will probably continue with the Minecraft game for my coding club as most of my students did not come anywhere near to completing all the courses. Plus, it creates a more collaborative environment to have more experienced students help the less experienced students. A few rogue students will always want to self select their games, but for most, coding is new and still requires a bit of guidance.