Friday, September 25, 2015

Plotagon: A Simple Coding App for Your Students

By Ed Tech Maniac, Darin Anderson

Coding in classrooms is becoming a wildly popular educational endeavor across the world. And for very good reason, as we are surrounded by apps, and smart devices, and software that effectively runs our daily lives.

While it is not necessary for the average user to understand the ins and outs of coding, those with even a basic knowledge can be led to jobs, careers, or just hobbies that can become revolutionary.

For students to get involved with coding, oftentimes schools or community programs find the need to purchase expensive programs that are sometimes beyond what young students can comprehend.
I recently came across a program called Plotagon that allows students to dabble in the basics of coding without having to get too heavy into the backstory. And all the while they get to play, be creative, and - most of all - tell a wonderful story.

Here is just one short example about a possible water cooler chat that may have taken place this morning somewhere in the greater D.C. area. Oh, by the way, I put it together in about 10 minutes this morning. (Call me the Friday Morning Quarterback.)

Overall, Plotagon is simple to use yet has unlimited potential for teacher and students use. Here are just a few examples of what Plotagon could do in your classroom:
  • Summarizing a fictional story or play or a piece of non-fiction such as an article or textbook chapter (not that anyone uses a textbook anymore :-) )
  • Providing a response to literature or non-fiction.
  • Re-enacting a scene from literature or an historical event in order to check comprehension.
  • Re-enacting a personal narrative 
  • Takes the place of smaller, more informal class presentations - saving you and your students' time.
  • Teachers can easily create introductory learning material (hooks) with Plotagon videos.
  • With the capability to upload directly to YouTube, teachers can use Plotagon content to flip instruction.
  • Allows personal creativity and expression while also providing opportunities for students to develop rich content and demonstrate understanding.
But don't take it from me. Let the crazy bearded man tell you what's up:

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