Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Orange Slice and the Hour of Code


Looking for an Expert

With the Hour of Code starting next week, I thought it would be fitting to find an expert in the field of computer science. When I signed up with Code.org to be the site organizer for MSD of Steuben County, having an expert was actually a suggestion and they provided opportunities to get in contact with people as such. Reason being that it helps young minds understand that all their digital content doesn't just magically appear on their device. There is a person and a thought process through the creation of digital resources. There is a skill set required to build the video games they play. I have quite a few experts in my personal life that are software developers for local engineering firms like Aptera and Logikos. Resources were certainly within reach, but I wanted to go a different route. 


Immediately I thought the Hour of Code would be a great opportunity for MSDSC's very own, Matt Buchanan, to chat about his experience with programming the Google App add-on, Orange Slice. Here we have a former mechanical engineer that decided to go into the teaching profession. Now Matt is using that engineering mindset to create digital tools that teachers and students can use to increase feedback.

Perseverance

In the interview, Matt shares quite a bit about the process of creating Orange Slice. Perseverance was his mantra as he talks about the problem solving process necessary to find solutions. Problems consistently arrived for Matt, but perseverance was key in finding success. This is an important message to our youth about what it means to work diligently, being reflective, and using the resources available that can help pull through the difficult moments of any challenge. 

The Hour of Code

Next week (December 7-13) is the Hour of Code. Matt's interview provides an opportunity for students (even teachers) to get a glimpse of the problem solving skills necessary in order to work through computer programming. It also may give viewers an appreciation of the effort Matt has placed in the creation of Orange Slice Rubrics. 

If you are looking for ideas for running the Hour of Code, I created resources to get your started, and you can find them by clicking this link. If you are already familiar with the Hour of Code, look for more resources at Code.org. They have a wide range of webtools for all ages. 

Interview with Matt Buchanan


(I apologize for the poor audio quality.)


Orange Slice

If you haven't tried Orange Slice Rubrics yet, check out my blogpost featuring the teacher rubric