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Teach Coding With Google

Google has been quietly at work in the Computer Science / STEM / STEAM Education world. A couple weeks ago I found out that Google had acquired Workbench Education. Look for a write up on that in the coming weeks. I'm really excited about integrating Workbench into my drone programming unit.

That being said, today I'm working through the Google CS First Storytelling Unit. When I Say I'm working through it, I mean I'm going to walk through the process of creating a class, add myself to the class, and see what kinds of activities are included. I'll pop back in periodically with bullet points to keep you informed of my progress. That being said... here we go.

  • Banners talking about a transition to Scratch 3.0 on January 2nd. I'm not sure how in depth the changes to the new version of Scratch are, but that is something to keep in mind.
  • I was able to log in using my school credentials.
  • It looks like the programming is Scratch based.
  • Setting up classes does NOT seem to link to Google Classroom.
  • They want me to pick a date to start with my class... umm... January 14th sounds good.
  • Printed materials are available for download, but Google will also print and ship you a set of classroom materials FOR FREE! Yep. I've got some ordered for my class already. Make sure your class start date is at least three weeks away to allow for printing and shipping.
  • I'm logging in as a student on my personal account. It asks for a class code, verifies my school name, and the project I have been assigned. Then it generates a username and password for me. It says "Please record your username and password in your printed passport for use next time." I guess the printed passport is a part of the printed materials that aren't here yet. The generated username and password would be difficult for my students to remember. They would definitely need to write it down.
  • Logged in... straight to a video that asks me to take a survey. I've got five minutes... aaannnnnd GO!
  • Survey done... and another video. It's an introduction to Scratch, and ends with instructions for the next step.
  • The next step also begins with a video.
  • Signing into Scratch with a starter project.
  • This is being presented as a set of activities for a CS  club, but I am going to try to use it as a programming unit next semester.
  • Very well laid out in step by step chunks at the end of each video.
  • Ooh... now we've got a choice of what add-on to use next. I like that the students will have some control of their learning.
Well, before this gets too long, I'm going to wrap it up for today. I'll be back in the near future with more impressions as I walk through the process of learning about 


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