Canvas Components, Controls and more!
ZIM founder, Dan Zen – a.k.a. Dr. Abstract, gave a talk workshop to the Ancaster High Secondary School (home of the Royals) Grade 10 Introduction to Computer Science class. Computer Science Teacher, Halina Dziewa, invited Zen back to his alma mater where he was met by his former class-mate Jeremy Russell, now the Department Head!
The students were given Dan Zen spinny cards – which as they pointed out, were a great icebreaker. After a words-of-wisdom intro, Zen had the students copy the ZIM template from the CODE page and get a circle dragging in less than five minutes using the who can get it working first? technique!
From there, they explored dragging, chaining, animation, registration points as they relate to programming basics. They moved on to play with a Blob and an Emitter (particles) and ended up tiling an art piece with random or sequential colors animated in a sequence. The process was similar to this presentation to the Toronto DevTO talk but much more interactive.
Zen had this to say about the experience:
“It was great to see the old school and park underneath the tall pines. The halls were in wonderful condition with happy students lounging waiting for the next class. Returning to your high school is a must for all graduates – and it was a delight to hopefully lead the students to a more creative future.”
Also present at the talk was the Principle, Randy Gallant – who was a trouper staying the whole time and helping the students debug. Lynn Krusto an OCT Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) from the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board was there as this activity was a part of the Information & Communications Technology SHSM.
Zen is recommending ZIM to high school teachers as a very visual way to teach programming basics. Here is a long excerpt from the ZIM Skool about ZIM in Secondary Education – see ZIM Skool Teachers for proper formatting:
Interactive Media is a blend of design and development fostering creativity and multidisciplinary skills. From the start, Interactive Media is more inclusive as it caters to “both sides of the brain”. It includes working with shapes, images, animations, sound and text to make Web and mobile apps, games, puzzles and art for sought after positions in the Cultural, Media, Service and Educational industries. Here is a link to an INTRO video on Interactive Media and ZIM.
Let’s dig in to the mapping of Curriculum next!
ZIM is a FRONT END technology and as such, the lessons do NOT include server side coding or database work. ZIM can hook up with server side technologies just fine for example when needing a high-score table as in this game of ZONG but you will have to add any server side curriculum yourself.
There are a variety of curricula in the world. We would be happy to help you if you have any questions mapping objectives. The best way, would be to join our SLACK team and introduce yourself in the #general channel.
ZIM headquarters are located in the Province of Ontario in Canada. So we will provide a mapping example using the Ontario Curriculum for Computer Studies.
Small sample excerpt from Ontario Computer StudiesGoals
According to The Ontario Curriculum Grades 10 to 12 Computer Studies Guide, a goal for the Computer Studies Program is to gain an understanding of computer concepts and develop skills in: the following four critical areas. We have mapped the ZIM Skool lessons that relate:
PARTNERSHIPS ⯈︎ ZIM SLACK COMMUNITY
According to the guide, community partners in the area of computer studies can be an important resource for schools and students. ZIM offers that partnership to use ZIM and its many resources beyond ZIM Skool such as ZIM Learn with code and video tutorials, ZIM Zap to code share, ZIM Teach with workshops, lessons and tests, ZIM Badges for very in-depth tutorials on making art and using physics, and the resources on the ZIM Site such as docs, examples, tips, templates, and more.
Text-based coding can be taught from about grade 5 on but usually shows up in secondary school (high school).
Do not let this discourage you if you are teaching elementry school or camps, etc.
ZIM is very readable. Even the code below gives the kids something wonderful to experience – a draggable red ball!
new Circle(100, “red”).center().drag();
In the next section, we will continue to use the Ontario Curriculum to map the lessons to a particular secondary school course.
Grade 10 of the Ontario Curriculum for Computer Studies
has an Introduction to Computer Studies course aimed at the intermediate college level.
ZIM can be taught in the university preparation courses but for our mapping example, we have chosen a college preparation course.
The course is organized in three strands:
Our lessons apply to part B. Introduction to Computer Programming.
This is broken down into three expectations:
Each of these are broken down into subsections listed below with the matching lessons from ZIM Skool.
As outlined in the Curriculum Expectations section, the expectation examples provided are intended as a guide for teachers rather than as an exhaustive or mandatory list.
The ZIM Skool Lessons 1 – 8 are an introduction to programming in a very open and visual environment
which makes coding more inclusive for many learners.
ZIM can be also used to teach how to build complex yet fun and creative features such as apps, games, puzzles and art. See the ZIM Teach section for lessons to build a simple game, an asteroids game, a meme maker and a physics visualization. ZIM Badges are detailed tutorials with five badges each to build apps, art and games. The ZIM Examples show applications that are well commented. The Explore and Bubbling videos show all sorts of fun examples of what can be built with ZIM.
If you are interested in teaching with ZIM and would like help matching ZIM Skool lessons to your curriculum, please join the free and easy ZIM Slack Team and message Dan Zen. We look forward to hearing from you.