#KidsCanCode Chat: Learning to Code Alongside My Students

Learning to Code with your students
We are teaching our students to code, but how can we simultaneously pick up some programming knowledge ourselves? This week, we discussed the best ways to learn the coding concepts we are teaching, both inside and outside the classroom.
Join us every Tuesday at 8pm EST for #KidsCanCode Chat!

#KidsCanCode Chat: Where Does Coding Meet the Common Core?

Teaching programming while meeting common core standards
In this week’s #KidsCanCode chat we discussed how we can align our coding lesson plans and use of classroom technology with the Common Core State Standards.

#KidsCanCode Chat: Debugging the Gender Gap

Code Documentary: Debugging the Gender Gap

In this week’s edition of #KidsCanCode we teamed up with @CODEfilm to discuss the ways we can debug the gender gap and help girls overcome the cultural barriers they face in CS and STEM fields.  We also chatted about the likelihood of a future Disney Princess Coding Movie. 🙂

Be sure to check out the documentary teaser:

#KidsCanCode Chat: Debugging My Coding Lesson Plan

KidsCanCode: Debugging my coding lesson plan
What did we talk about in this week’s #KidsCanCode chat? Well, we discussed our greatest success/failures from last year’s coding lesson plans, outlined what we learned, and set goals for the changes we plan on making going into the new school year! 🙂

#KidsCanCode Chat: Teach Programming Like the Hobbit

Utilize your strengths when teaching code
Couldn’t make this week’s #KidsCanCode chat?  Catch up on what you missed as we discussed everything from collaborative programming to STEAM to Spy Robots!

Join us every Tuesday at 8pm EST for our #KidsCanCode Chat!

How to Participate in a #KidsCanCode Twitter Chat

Kodable Twitter Chat

For the past month, I have been hosting a weekly programming education Twitter chat on Tuesdays at 8pm EST called #KidsCanCode. Every week, there are new participants who are unsure about what a Twitter chat is or how to participate in one. So here is a quick guide to Twitter chats!

What is a Twitter chat?

Twitter chats are like an online party where groups of people with similar interests come together at a designated time to talk about a specified topic. Some chats occur weekly, some are bi-weekly such as #KidsCanCode, and others are monthly. It all depends on the moderators and the amount of participation.

The chats take place using a common hashtag. Using a hashtag allows anyone on twitter to follow the conversation. It is like a key word that links tweets together.

#KidsCanCode Twitter Chat

Here’s an example of what you might see when you click on the #KidsCanCode hashtag. All of these people used “#kidscancode” in their tweet, therefore Twitter lumps them together so you can read everything in one place.

 

How to participate in a Twitter chat

To participate in a Twitter chat you can use Twitter or some other Twitter software. I prefer to use TweetDeck or Hootsuite, because they allow you to open multiple columns.

Set up a column for #KidsCanCode in your TweetDeck

I usually keep one column open for the chat I am currently in, and one next to it with all of my interactions. I like this layout because I can see the chat while also seeing the separate conversations I have going on. You’ll find your own preferences as you get used to chatting on Twitter.

Once you install or create a free account on Hootsuite or TweetDeck, you need to create a column for the chat. In TweetDeck, you can do this from the side panel.

  1. Click the magnifying glass, and type in the hashtag for the chat you want to follow.  For example, type in #KidsCanCode. Search for #KidsCanCode
  2. When the chat comes up, click “Add Column” button at the bottom of the window and a #KidsCanCode column will appear.                                        Input the hashtag #KidsCanCode

How Twitter chats work

Now that you’re set up and ready to begin your first chat, it is important to know how they work. Twitter chats come in many different formats. Some chats are question and answer, others are focused on a guest, some are broken into conversation segments, and others are a free flowing conversation.

Most education related chats such as #KidsCanCode follow the Q and A format. I’ll go over participating in this format, since these are the ones I prefer and have the most experience doing.

The moderator will have 5 or 6 questions prepared for the chat ahead of time. Every few minutes they will announce a question using one of the following formats.

  • Q1: What is your favorite color? #colorchat
  • QUESTION1: What is your favorite color? #colorchat
  • ——> Q1: What is your favorite color? #colorchat

When you see the question, you can respond using “A” and the question number.

A1: My favorite color is purple! #colorchat

It is important to include the hashtag at the end of each of your tweets so everyone can see it.

Some final tips

Twitter chats are a lot of fun, especially when you find a group of people you really enjoy. Hang in there and try a few different chats to find a group you click with.

Here is a list of all the education related chats that are available.

Larger chats like #edchat and #edtechchat move very quickly, so don’t worry if you fall behind at first. Eventually you will get the hang of it.

Join us for #KidsCanCode!

Now that you know all about Twitter chats, get out there, start tweeting, and join our #KidsCanCode chat!