WEDNEDAY 22ND OF FEBUARY.
This was the day allocated to delivering our sonic Pi session to children and parents.
We first started off by setting up the laptops and placing instruction cards next to each laptop, The instruction cards consisted of different levels of sonic pi ranging from, level 1 (easy) to level 4 (challenging). We had chairs set up in a circle and laptops on tables. As the children and parents began to arrive we greeted them and handed each child with a xylophone and the parents with a tambourine. I could tell that the children were slightly confused, as to what a xylophone has to do with coding but i could tell that they were excited too. When everyone arrived they were all seated in a circle and were given a xylophone. There were 3 groups of children’s ranging from 11-8. We began the session by introducing ourselves and then our team leader giving a brief of what to expect from the session. Our project leader then proceeded with a presentation which included a step by step guide on how to use sonic pi. We tried to incorporate music with coding in this session for example, the children were given a sequence of numbers they had to play on their numbered xylophone’s. I felt that this was slightly confusing for some at the beginning however as they went on I think they got the gist of what they had to do. However, I did notice that the youngest girl did struggle a bit, to help her overcome this struggle me and her father assisted her through the tasks she found challenging.
After they played around with the xylophone’s, they were then introduced to coding and ways in which they could incorporate music with coding and make simple musical notes. We were then sent off with the children to the computers. This is where the children were provided with the tasks and instructions on how to make musing through coding. when i was looking around to see if anyone needed any assistance, i noticed that one child jumped straight to the more difficult tasks, however had to start from the more easy tasks first. I think this shows that that boy was quite keen and had a lot of confidence in his abilities which is something not many children possess. I myself struggled a bit when it came to rectifying and helping the children code, this is something which I think I should have worked on and made sure I was familiar with the software and coding.
After the children had a play around with the software they were told to make a song using the musical coding notes. Throughout the session the children were asked to show their progress and what they had composed so far. At the beginning they were all slightly hesitant, but after some guidance and cheering on all the children slowly but surely had the confidence to showcase their songs. At the end each song was played out however, a particular boys song got deleted and we could not retrieve it. I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that they boy did not become dejected or cause a fuss, but rather he quite confidently told everyone that his song was pretty good.
At the end the children were asked what they learnt and were told that they could also try this at home.
I asked one child whether he had done anything like this before and surprisingly, he had never had an experience like this one and also Stated that he would like to do this as a regular activity. In a recent article it is said that coding should be a main subject in school and should be taught regularly. The article states that Computers are ever evolving and the works of Alan turning and Sir Tim Berners-Lee are not credited enough by young children. The articles author believes that we need more children to learn coding so that they can also follow In the footsteps of these leaders and hopefully work towards bettering an industry which is constantly evolving. She believes that we are living in a era where the world is dominated by software, from your mobile phones, televisions, maps to your online shopping all of which is done via a software (Crow, 2014)
Crow, D. (2014) Why every child should learn to code. The guardian. [Online] [ Accessed on 7th March 2017] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/07/year-of-code-dan-crow-songkick