As a teacher, I know that kids learn in different ways. Some kids learn better by using their hands, some by listening, and others by watching videos. These days, kids are learning how to cook food, make slime, and make themselves better by watching videos. But did you know you can use videos to help teach kids computer science? Here are a few of my favorites.
Brainpop’s video, Computer Programming, discusses loops and conditionals with kid-friendly characters. There is even a quiz that students can take after they are finished, but unless you have the paid version of Brainpop, you will not be able to see the results. However, you can complete the quiz together as a class! Lesson plans are even included with the video.
Max Wainewright created great A-Z videos about different coding topics and concepts. They are short videos–all under one minute–that have captivating graphics and animation. The video series covers a wide variety of coding concepts, and they are great to use when introducing a new concept to students.
Think Like a Coder
Want an awesome resource for upper elementary and middle school students? Think Like a Coder is a video series designed and edited by Kozmonoto Studios and created as an original TED-Ed series. The videos use animae characters which is perfect for this age group. The kids explore coding concepts such as loops, conditional statements, and functions. My students love it, and they are always eager to watch another episode. Each episode is six to twelve minutes long. My favorite part is that you can use EdPuzzle as a way to check students’ understanding while watching the videos. It’s a great formative piece that allows students to show what they know as they are watching the videos. The only catch is that each student will need to have headphones to watch the videos on their own.
While you cannot use these videos alone to teach computer science, they can be used to help students gain an understanding of computer science concepts. I hope you will try one out in your classroom!
Lisa Bohaty is a Computer Science Teacher and Tech Integration Specialist for East Butler Public Schools.