You’re likely familiar with the three R’s in education; ‘reading, writing, and arithmetic’ but have you heard of the fourth R?
Author and Educator, Cathy N. Davidson argues that; “a student today needs a fourth R: reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic and ‘rithms, as in algorithms, or basic computational skills. By getting the youngest kids started on algorithmic or computational thinking, we give them the same tool of agency to being able to make (not just receive) digital content that the 3 R’s gave to Industrial Age learners.”
Programming Literacy: The Fourth 'R'
Code and computers are central to our daily lives, and programming has undoubtedly become a powerful mode of written communication. Programming literacy is the ability to read, write and modify computer code in order to create or modify software and media channels. So although not everyone will be a programmer, everyone will work with programmers; making programming literacy a must-have skill for almost every profession.
Hatch Coding: Real-World Coding Education
We teach coding like teaching a language. Much like there are many ways to convey a message, there are many ways to approach coding. At Hatch Coding, there are no right or wrong answers, only learning how to master the approach.
With our Hatch Studio JS students are presented with a ‘word problem’ and there are specific requirements that are presented for them to learn to solve the problem. These projects are short with usually one to three components (similar to the idea of a paragraph in language arts) and they learn one component at a time (like writing sentences) before they learn to write a ‘full essay’ (many lines of code).
Each of our 600+ projects helps students progress through the 40 learning levels through three coding levels: Type-What-You-See, Pseudocode and English Description.
Type-What-You-See (TWYS): This is the easiest level that students learn at. It’s similar to tracing activities when learning letters, numbers and copying notes. It allows students to observe patterns and draw conclusions when they work through the project challenges. Our project challenges allow students to extend their learning through practicing the components leaned in each project.
For example, in our beginner project, Hold A Ball, students TWYS to colour the ball, black and one of the challenges asks students to change the colour of their ball through researching the RGB colour codes provided in the Hatch Coding’s reference manual RGB colour wheel.
To see how students are presented with a project (‘word problem’) and what their Hatch Coding dashboard looks like; Try our beginner project: Hold A Ball.
Hatch Studio: Python
We teach Python through minor and showcase projects.
Minor Projects: These are shorter projects that draw on higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills. Students can practice these skills in smaller chunks with these projects, making them more manageable to successfully complete.
Showcase Projects: Our showcase projects have three levels of difficulty: Easy, Moderate and Hard. These are longer projects where more planning and problem solving skills are required and as students gain proficiency in their skills, they’ll unlock harder showcase projects and gradually progress through our program.
The Fourth ‘R’: The Future for a Level Playing Field
If all kids have access to learn the fourth ‘R’ - pRogramming - then it can create a more level playing field for opportunities to pursue a profession in programming, regardless of a student’s socio and economic background.
And if there is access for all to learn this skill, then as Cathy N. Davidson points out; “It allows for more diverse participation in the creation (not just the consumption) of the digital culture, as well as the economic, educational, and business products of the 21st century.”
Hatch Coding’s vision is to help create a future where everyone has access to coding education and our mission is to empower students with skills to shape the future through coding education, building core competencies required to program in the real-world.