Monday, July 24, 2017

Bitsbox Presentation Follow Up #ISTE17

On June 26th, I was thrilled to present at the STEM Playground at ISTE17 in San Antonio. It was the 3rd time I had attended ISTE, having been to San Diego in 2012 and Philly in 2015. I had submitted a proposal to share about how I use coding in content areas with my 2nd and 3rd grade classes. One of the programs I use is Bitsbox. It's a subscription based text coding program that my kids love!
For this presentation, I focused on the free resources available to educators. I shared my slide deck in a previous post. In it, I discuss how coding with Bitsbox supports close reading, attention to detail, and can connect to many of the subject content standards in ELA, math, science, art, music and more!



One of the exciting things that happened, was that Bitsbox was at the Start Up booth at ISTE. I was thrilled to meet the people who created this amazing resource. I was able to meet Anastasia, Sadie, and one of the founders, Aidan Chopra. Anastasia, Aidan, and I sat down to discuss the future of Bitsbox and education. They really wanted to know how Bitsbox could support students. We discussed what teachers need, how to share what the code does, how to connect to content standards, and how to package resources to make it easier for us. It's important to them to help those of us teachers who don't have any background in coding so we can give this opportunity to our kids.


I'm thrilled to be able to connect with such a responsive company. The week after ISTE, Anastasia was able to do a Google Hangout with our summer camp program and share how they come up with ideas for apps, how she started coding (hint: she learned using Bitsbox) and answer LOTS of kids questions. This is the second hangout they've done for my kids and it's been so inspiring!



Since our meeting, the folks at Bitsbox have shared a new format for the Classroom Boxes. These are sets of programming cards with support for teachers so we know the coding concepts each box is focused on. Like Box 1 below is all about using coordinates. Definitely put these on your wish list for Back to School! (This is not an affiliate link - I don't get anything from Bitsbox for sharing. I just like the company.)



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