I am going to be honest, when I realized that we were going to be doing an assignment on coding I got very scared. I did not really even know what coding was, I just knew that it was something that you dealt with in computer science classes. Hence why I never took a computer science class!
I found out that the entire internet is made up of code, so I actually have been using code nearly my entire life. Turns out that I can’t avoid it! Code is basically a computer language that tells the computer what to do. In fact, as I write this blog post I am using code! How cool is that?
I did not really know that coding has become a concept that educators are starting to teach their students. I never did anything close to coding when I was in elementary or high school, so this is a brand new territory for me. There are a lot of online resources, such as Code Academy, Hour of Code, and Scratch, that are introducing students to coding so that they have an understanding of what it is. I also thought it was interesting that you can start introducing coding as early as kindergarten! Instead of working with the written form of coding, you can work with blocks that are simplified versions of the same code. This makes is a lot easier for younger students, and people new to coding like myself, to understand how to code.
That leads directly into my challenge for this week. I played around with the Hour of Code site and chose to code my own Flappy Bird game. I remember my friends and I being obsessed with playing Flappy Bird in high school. Who knew that I could create my own game through coding?
The program started with a tutorial video to teach you how to drag and drop the code. I thought that this was incredibly helpful, especially since I have never used this resource before. Here is the outline of the 10 different levels of this program:
- You are coding the bird’s flapping and adding in a wing sound.
- When you hit the ground you end the game.
- You code the speed of the game.
- Code when the bird hits an obstacle you end the game.
- Code adding a scoreboard for when you pass an obstacle.
- Coding different amounts that the bird flaps to increase or decrease the difficulty.
- You are coding different backgrounds.
- You add a code for randomly changing the scene when you pass an obstacle.
- Instead of ending the game when you hit an obstacle, you code so that the score goes back to zero when you it an obstacle.
- You create your own code for Flappy Bird!
Now that we went over the outline of the program, I recorded two different videos to show you what the programming looks like. Here is the first video where I am over halfway through the program:
Once I got to the end of the program, I wanted to create an example of coding your own Flappy Bird game. Afterwards, I created a different custom game to share with you! So here is the example game I created:
Now that you have an idea of what the final programming looks like, I created my own game that I named “Just Keep Swimming”. Feel free to check it out and comment your thoughts!
Would I teach coding in my classroom? If I became much more familiar with it, and introduced programming like Hour of Code, I would definitely teach coding to my students. I always viewed coding as just sitting down, looking at a bunch of numbers and letters, and organizing them in a certain way to get an end result. I did not realize that you could create games, stories, characters, etc. with coding! I think having students understand the language of computers and how code runs the internet is really valuable. I wish that I learned about coding when I was in elementary school and high school! Based on how excited I was to create my own Flappy Bird game, share it with my friends, and hear their reactions, I know that my students would get very excited about coding as well. These online resources have changed the way that I view coding, and hopefully my students will also get to experience the wonders of coding and creating their own games and stories!