Reply to Dave's Comment from my last post.

Original Comment from Dave:
I teach coding as an introduction to web pages, and here is why. First, our students understand web pages and web page features, so they can more easily make the transition to content creation. Second, HTML and browsers allow for immediate feedback for students. They can quickly see whether their code worked or whether debugging is necessary. Thirdly, and most important, coding teaches important problem solving skills -- skills which are useful in just about every academic discipline. If the syntax is off by just one character, the page may not work properly. Having the persistence and work ethic to correct an obscure error is an important discipline to develop, especially since creative problem solving skills are also a tenet of the 21st Century Skills report you cite. Therefore, in the end it isn't about the HTML, but the larger skills that HTML can help teach.

Thanks for the comment Dave! I can really begin to see the accessibility the use of creating webpages as an introduction to the web. When you put it in the context of 21st Century Skills, it makes more sense.

My only concern is that...and I don't know enough about web programming trends...is that students will learn to "code" in a language that may not be useable in the next ten years. We could use ALICE or Lego MindStorm to help teach critical thinking and problem solving, and those may be just as engaging, if not more, than producing a webpage.

I guess the real question is, can you use ALICE or MindStorms and connect them to the general curriculum as easily as HTML? Maybe??

Is HTML the most "effective" way to teach problem solving or critical thinking? If those are indeed our desired outcome?

Something else to throw in and may not be part of this initial conversation: How long will we be teaching students "intro to the web" type electives? I'm still amazed at how my students are still teaching me :-) Yesterday I brought up the acronym...and mind you, just the acronym...MMORPG and I was almost mobbed by three 6th graders. I got an earful until the bell rang about WoW(by the way, did you know you can get a new rewards VISA from Worlds of Warcraft :-) , and new one called Defcon.

There is also something in your comment that got me to thinking...and only because it's a problem in my own life. Are there things we can be doing to help kids foster "delayed gratification?" Maybe that's a topic for a whole new entry?

NOW....With that being said, I'm still going to teach the "Intro to HTML" elective, but I think these types of conversations are the ones we need to be having.

Thanks for the reply Dave.

You can check out Dave's blog at www.lutherantech.com
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