The Education Department wants all schools to teach coding. We’ve all either read about it or at least heard about it, but how do you teach coding if your teachers don’t know how to code? One option is to employ a teacher who knows how to teach coding which is both difficult and expensive. 

The only other option is to teach your current teachers how to teach coding. However, this can be an even more difficult task. What if your teachers don’t know how to code? How can you expect a teacher who has never coded before to teach coding to a class of 30+ students? How do schools handle this dilemma?

We chatted to Tim from 2Simple – an international leading company when it comes to teaching coding to schools. Tim explains how easy it is for teachers who can’t code to teach coding.

Q1: The Education Department recently announced the implementation of coding to our curricula. Why is coding so important?

A: We are surrounded by technology. Almost everything we see or touch these days has some form of coding involved in it. Not everyone will be a hardcore coder or developer, but we all need a basic understanding of how the technology around us works. If we’re able to manipulate the technology that rules our lives, we can take control of it.

Coding has been added to curricula around the world as a part of the bigger picture called ‘Computational Thinking’.

Our current government believes that we need to prepare our youth for the fourth industrial revolution and therefore computational thinking is imperative. 

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think” – Margaret Mead

Q2: Can any teacher be taught how to teach coding?

A: Absolutely! You do not need to be able to code, you simply need the ability to ‘teach’. Any non-specialist teacher can make use of a platform (like our Purple Mash platform) to facilitate a coding class.

Many schools have not yet implemented coding and I believe there are two main reasons for this. Firstly, there is a preconceived idea that you need serious computing infrastructure; and secondly, it’s difficult. Both these reasons are invalid. Firstly, our platform Purple Mash requires very little computing infrastructure and secondly, it’s not difficult at all to teach – the idea of it just seems so.

Q3: Tell us more about Purple Mash. How exactly does it allow a teacher who doesn’t know how to code teach coding?

Purple Mash includes a wide variety of EdTech tools, games, themed activities and more. For the purpose of this article, though, we’ll focus on the benefits of its coding tools.

Purple Mash is jam-packed full of Lesson Plans for coding that will take a non-specialist teacher with no prior programming experience and allow them to facilitate a class like a pro. Through learning by doing, teachers will become well-versed in the teaching of coding in no time. 

As a team, at 2Simple, we pride ourselves in partnering with schools and walking alongside them in this new EdTech journey – never leaving them stranded.

The Purple Mash platform includes the following coding tools designed to help learners comprehensively learn how to code: 

2Code
Begins with simple block-based programming and advances into written JavaScript. We have created challenge-based activities that kids will work through sequentially, learning new coding principles at each level until they get to a ‘free code’ section. Here, they can use all the programming functions they have learnt to code freely. 

2Go
The opportunity to control an object on a screen using a range of instructions and can be used as an introduction to programming. It can be adapted to a variety of purposes. From the exploration of mathematical concepts such as angles and shapes to coordinate mapping.

2Logo
2Logo is a text-based coding language. It gives pupils guidance when their code does not match the correct structure of the language and will prepare pupils for the demands of more complex text-based coding.

2Logo allows children to practise basic single-line Logo programming so they can move up to multi-line programming. After they have mastered those two skills, they can then learn to create complex procedures and then learn to combine these procedures.

Python in Pieces – Python programming
… Coming soon. Shhh. It’s a secret. Call us and we might whisper in your ear what it’s about. 

Q4: How long has 2Simple been around for and how many schools use your Purple Mash platform?

A: It’s our 20th birthday in Jan 2020 :). We have had a base in South Africa for 15 of those years. In that time, we have won over 40 industry awards and have grown to serve teachers and over 2 million learners in 74 countries. 

We closely work with many schools in the public and private sectors in South Africa. Around 7,000 schools currently use our Purple Mash platform worldwide, and double that amount use other 2Simple products. 

Please check out our reviews on the SchoolAdvisor site to see some of our latest reviews. 

Q5: What is the pricing model for Purple Mash?

A: Schools buy licences per user annually. Each user pays about the price of a regular 

Margarita pizza per user per year. Pricing options differ slightly according to the number of learners in a school.

 

2Simple is a well-established and highly-rated company that focuses on making it easy for teachers who don’t code to teach a coding class. Don’t take our word for it, check out these amazing reviews of Purple Mash

If you want to find out more about Purple Mash, leave your details below and the team from 2Simple will be in touch. They will even set up a demo for you to test.

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