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Taking students on a coding trip through ‘wonderland’

2014 February 13
by HISD Communications

Last December, thousands of students at HISD schools took part in a digital literacy exercise designed to expose them to the exciting world of computer coding.

But one teacher at the Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan has been capitalizing on the interest generated by that activity to keep students engaged in her English Language Arts classes.

“I thought, ‘What better way than to bring stories to life?’” said Maria Garrett-Jackson. “So I created lesson plans that entwined coding into the existing unit at that time, short stories. Cross-curriculum lessons add depth to what you are teaching. You’re preparing students for real-world circumstances by exposing them to the relationships between subjects.”

Garrett-Jackson chose to use Alice 2.0, because it capitalized on something familiar to most students: gaming.

“It provided a realistic experience of creating video games,” she said. “They learned how challenging it is to make a body part move in a realistic manner. Now, all they want to do is Alice 2.0. But what they don’t know yet is that it will be an option for creating a commercial in our current unit, persuasion.”

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