In August, IT-oLogy’s own Alicia Thibaudet, Jon Bartschi and Lawrence Ford were invited by Code.org, with about 100 others, to attend an action packed professional development weekend in Las Vegas. The new Code.org K-5 Affiliate program, which is focused on coding curriculum for elementary schools, has developed 3 bands of courses that each focus on teaching coding concepts appropriate for varying skill levels. The goal of this professional development workshop was to prepare over 100 affiliates across the nation to offer curriculum and professional development to K-5 teachers in the US. Alicia and Jon will be offering workshops in South Carolina starting this fall and Lawrence will be offering workshops in Dallas soon.
So why is Code.org doing this? According to Hadi Partovi, founder of Code.org, “Every 21st-century student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. The basics help nurture creativity and problem-solving skills, and prepare students for any future career. Software and computers are everywhere, but still less than one in ten schools teaches computer science.” To make computer science more accessible, we are offering free, high-quality professional development workshops for K-5 educators and content-area teachers (librarians, tech-ed specialists,etc.) interested in teaching the Code.org elementary school computer science curriculum. The workshop will cover content for all three courses and teachers will receive the supplies they need to teach the course at no cost. These workshops will be led by experienced Code.org K-5 Affiliates in over 60 cities across the United States. The elementary school curriculum allows even the youngest students to explore the limitless world of computing. The courses blend online, self-guided and self-paced tutorials with “unplugged” activities that require no computer at all. Each level consists of about 20 lessons that may be implemented as one unit or over the course of a semester. Even kindergarten-aged pre-readers can participate.South Carolina starting this fall and Lawrence will be offering workshops in Dallas soon.
The courses are flexible so educators can tailor them to their class based on their students’ developmental level and prior experience. The lessons align to CSTA Computer Science and ISTE standards, and reinforce concepts and skills taught in other subject areas by integrating national Math, English Language Arts, and Science standards. The skills from each course are listed below.
Early readers (ages 4-6)
- Loops and events
- Meaningful collaboration with others
- Problem solving and perseverance techniques
- Internet safety
Beginners, readers (ages 6+)
- Binary code
- Societal impacts of computing
Prereq. Course 2 (ages 6+)
- Problem decomposition
- Nested loops and conditionals
- Digital citizenship
- Internet transmission methods
We will be announcing dates for workshops sometime in the next month. For any questions, contact Alicia Thibaudet at [email protected].