Codebugs at Hudson
These were used over a week with all KS2 classes. The initial lesson was taught to a Year 5 class by the classteacher. The scrolling name badge tutorial was demonstrated by the teacher, then independently followed by the children. Following this a group of 10 children were selected to teach the same lesson to all other KS2 classes.
All children were keen to create a badge with a slogan. After the session, many asked how they could buy a codebug.
Codebugs enabled us to provide a real experience of coding and programming resulting in a physical experience. This was important for a small school with a small budget, where children usually experience all computing through a shared laptop.
Looking at my example scrolling message, a child instantly made links to railway station signs, allowing me to link to real-life computing.
Already having experience with Scratch, the children were able to program with ease, understanding how to connect coding blocks and how to create loops.
The emulator enabled children to test and debug their code. This encouraged them to make changes and improvements. I really liked this feature.
The resources were scrupulously organised and contained. This made it easy to regulate the resource use and allowed children to distribute it and organise collection at the end of the lesson.
Parents reported that children went home and talked about the experience. This was especially so for children who are less inspired by school.
The codebugs were equally appealing to girls and boys. All children said they would like to work with them more and many had ideas of how they could extend their code to make their badge more visually appealing.
The children found it incredibly difficult to transfer their program. They found it difficult to connect the micro-usb into the codebug and into the laptop. They became frustrated at this. They also found it difficult to negotiate around screens to drag and drop their program onto the usb drive. Children who did this with success became ‘experts’ and supported children who struggled.It would have been nice if the children had been able to actually wear their badge (maybe this kit was included and I missed it). They were proud of their work and wanted to share and talk about it.