As part of our mission to create innovative open source learning resources for all teachers and students, BCILD is sponsoring Bitsbox (bitsbox.com) coding opportunities in local Boulder Colorado area public elementary schools. At Escuela Bilingue Pioneer Elementary in Lafayette, technology teacher Alberto Gaspar-Jimenez has been introducing the program to students.
BCILD: Why do you think introducing Bitsbox technology is useful in a student’s education?
Gaspar- Jimenez: Bitsbox is very useful because it is very well designed and is engaging for students. Bitsbox seems to me like a great platform for elementary students to start coding so they can move on to even more challenging coding projects in the future.
BCILD: What changes have you seen in how a student approaches coding after using Bitsbox?
Gaspar-Jimenez: I had my reservations when I first saw Bitsbox because I felt that they may not really learn the coding language because they were just copying what was spelled out for them in the books. However, after a couple of sessions with my students I realized that copying was just the beginning. As soon as they felt comfortable, they started changing parts of the code, applying some of it to their own made up projects, and understanding what the different numbers and symbols within the code they were copying meant. My students became much more analytical than I have ever seen them before with other coding projects.
The students enthusiastically embraced this coding opportunity.
BCILD: Do you think having some coding experience can change your life? If yes, how?
Lucas, 4th grade: Yes, I do. I think that if you have lots of experience with coding it will make it much easier to get hired for a job that requires coding. Also, coordinates have helped me a lot because now I understand them better and we have recently been doing a unit on that in math.
Henry, 3rd grade: I definitely think it could. It would be a great job to have. Just my coding could change the world.
Joli, 3rd grade: Yes, because if you already have coding experience then it will be easier to get a computer job.
BCILD: Have you enjoyed using Bitsbox? Why?
Laurel, 5th grade: Yes, because it makes me even more excited to code. I think that it is a great thing for kids and adults, and it has been great playing around with it. I have enjoyed it because you can personalize the game by changing the code.
Lucas, 4th grade: Yes, I liked using Bitsbox because there’s a lot of math and I liked being able to change the code.
Wyatt, 5th grade: Yes! Because I love coding. It’s way more fun to make the game and then play it instead of just playing it.