Every December, code.org encourages millions of students around the world to participate in Hour of Code. Their goal is to introduce coding and computer science to as many students as possible. This year, all of our students participated in two days of Hour of Code by coming to the library during their math class. On the first day, students played games found on the code.org website. On the second day, students participated in hands-on programming with robots such as Ozobots, Ollies, and Spheros. They also had the chance to code a program in Scratch and use the Makey Makeys to play the program. The campus digital learning coach and I created activities that would challenge students at each station. See the Station Instructions below.
When an 8th grade Algebra class came to the library Friday morning, two girls sat down at the Makey Makey station. The instructions told them to record a song a Scratch and then play it with the Makey Makey. Since both girls are theater fans, they decided to record themselves singing a song from the Broadway musical Hamilton.
My principal, Amanda Ziaer, strongly encourages all of the staff to share their students' stories via Twitter. She wonders, "If we don't share our story, who will?" Deciding that this would be a great story to tell and amazed by these two 8th graders, I asked them if I could video their performance and post it to Twitter. I decided to tag the creator of Hamilton, Lin Manuel Miranda, hoping he would see the video and "like" or retweet the post. To our surprise, he retweeted the video with a quote. Over 5000 of his followers liked his Tweet and over 500 shared it.
After all of this happened, our district invited the students and I to share this at a school board meeting. The girls were able to share their knowledge of Scratch and the Makey Makey and how they adapted an activity to fit their interests. Because they made their learning relevant to their lives and because we shared their passion via social media, people around the world got to experience the amazing things happening in our school. As educators, we have a story to tell. We do outstanding things everyday with our students, and if we don't share that with the world, how will they know what we do? How will they know what our students do?