Years later, I had decided to teach again. Everything is different now; you can teach and learn almost anything online. There was a time when teaching with projectors and PowerPoint presentations used to be the most innovative of all teaching practices( I am referring to the chalks and the boards here). The transition was quite overwhelming when all you see are a pair of eyes staring into your screen and little fingers trying to scroll over the mouse and the keyboard. If you’re lucky enough, you get to see the perfect proportions of innocence and curiosity.
This blog is to remind all of us that, it is highly unfair to think of age as a restraining factor to learn and let learn many interesting things in life.
We started with ‘dragging and dropping’ of colourful blocks, playing around with the little Elly(the elephant, sprite) in Scratch, either of us had any idea where, to begin with exactly. She gently nodded to the ‘Science’ I was trying to explain every time, we spoke about coordinates, math, sensors, LED, and even digitization. She hesitantly moved the blocks I had asked her to drag.
Things didn’t go as planned, I waited for her to ask questions, anything at all, just a signal that her little brain is able to comply with and correlate with the real programming world. She stacked up the blocks like tiny Lego pieces, I became her instruction manual. She narrowed her face when Science went slightly over the roof, however, we kept going.
Session 15 with her, she can now follow the instructions very clearly, she knows why we do what we do, she knows her inputs and the outputs.
I was thrilled, she could now ask me the most important question in any learning process,
She asked, mam, “Why do we have this block here and not there? Why did you choose a loop and not a condition? “
This meant a lot as she now has a clear way to approach a problem, everything her little brain has captured, only needs a little more practice. She has a ‘LOGIC’ now and she has become a little programmer!
Together, we’re moving towards the end of the Cruiser course, she can create a game all by herself, she can move the robot with lights, sound, and even remote, every time the robot makes a move with her C-O-D-E, she giggles! Every session, she gives me this smile and the same gentle nod, but, this time, ends it with ‘I want another program’! The journey of programming was, for her, a very hard start, for me, as a teacher, a very challenging one! She did it because she has such wonderful parents who believe in her. As a parent myself, who sometimes doubt the choices I make, all of us need this reminder of how capable are the ones we created, sometimes we fail to notice.
Dedicated to Ivana Mariam, my little programmer! And to all the parents trying to choose the best for their kid.
Let’s learn together!