Digital Literacy is becoming not only an expectation but a necessity for school-aged kids. We live in an increasingly digital world, and students need to know how to function and interact with digital equipment in order to compete for jobs and opportunities.

Online presence is larger than ever, and students are striving to create their own, unique spaces. Not only do students create unique content for social media profiles, but they also create unique apps, forums, and other spaces that allow for ideas, intelligence, and creativity to be displayed and for collaboration to take place.

Students absolutely should have the opportunity to learn to code. Personally, I think block code is the way of the future. Block coding allows students to quickly program bots and drones to complete tasks. One reason coding is not hugely popular in high school classrooms and curriculums is that coding from scratch is intimidating. Having to learn a new language that will be responsible for controlling functions of a piece of technology is daunting for many educators and students. Block coding has allowed students and teachers the ability to pull “chunks” of code and arrange these chunks of code to gain a desired outcome. You can drag and drop blocks that program drones and bots to “move 20 cm forward” and “turn 90 degrees right”. The code is already applied to these block functions, so you can quickly program a drone to complete a series of movements. Start with block code and if students are interested in learning more, they absolutely can. Just google “Free Coding Lessons for Students” and have them sign up with a program.

Beyond coding bots and drones, students can create video games, VR experiences, working websites, online stores, and apps. Coding opens an entirely new world for students. A world in which they can launch their own online business, target audiences, and quickly analyze data.

One problem with coding is the lack of teacher training. When teachers have no exposure to code, typically students experience the same lack of exposure. Don’t worry, we are going to remedy this problem.

We recognize and support this need for students to learn to code independently and have launched a new drone kit to accommodate this need. You download the manuals, give the kit to the students, and sit back and watch them learn. We are providing tutorials and making recommendations for use of block coding that will allow your students to progress from Drone Blocks to Python. We are going to explain exactly how to use the drone and how to program the drone using coding and are also providing challenges for your students that they will design and implement in teams. The educator is merely there to encourage students.

We are thrilled to provide students with the opportunity to fly drones and use coding languages to program the drones to successfully complete challenges.

We hope you enjoy coding and programming drones to complete tasks and encourage you to try this new world of digital literacy out!

Xandy Whitman