Is it still a club if we never meet as a group in person and only ‘see’ one another online? Is it still a club if it’s more about self-directed learning and discussion rather than everyone being on the same page at the same time?
I’m trying to create a student club that meets exclusively in Canvas. I’m not really sure if it should be called a club, but that’s where I’m starting until I come up with something better.
The week before spring break, I posed a question to my fourth and fifth grade students: If you could learn anything during the last quarter of the year, what would you want to learn about?
The overwhelmingly most popular answer was coding. Students specifically said “not baby games” and “I think the best thing to learn is coding or how to animate, but, like these other guy who are serious about coding, no cheesy games.”
Welcome to Coding Club
I loved their honesty and reflection, and immediately thought back to a presentation I attended recently at TCEA in Austin, Texas. There a district technologist shared a Canvas course she created called “Coding Club.” I immediately added this into my Canvas profile and thanked her profusely for her hard work and openness in sharing.
Today I revealed the Coding Club to my fifth grade students. During my fifth grade classes, I start with a 15(ish) minute mini-lesson related to my Information Literacy objectives, followed by 15(ish) minutes of “May Do” time where they choose between continuing our mini-lesson work or other related activities from prior weeks, in addition to checking out books.
The Canvas course – Coding Club, is our first entirely digital “club” in the school where any student may ask me for an invite. Once they are added through Canvas and accept the invitation, they can work through the self-paced modules during our library May Do times, at home, or during other flexible learning times during the day.
I did a preview of the course today, showing students how to animate / modify their name in a guided HTML code editor and then had the first 8 students ask to be added to our online club.
I’ve never hosted an e-club before and I’m excited to see how it will go. I will follow up with any challenges or successes we have in this fourth quarter experiment.