Few tech tools have gotten me as excited as Code.org, a complete online curriculum that allows students the opportunity to delve into coding and computer science topics. Founded by Hadi Partovi, Code.org is a non-profit aimed at making computer science more accessible to all students.Completely correlated with common core state standards, code.org’s engaging activities are cross curricular while fostering important digital literacy skills. Getting started is easy. Simply create a free teacher account and create your class. code.org provides endless teacher training resources including no cost teacher workshops.
Photo Credit: www.coderevkids.com
I was recently offered the opportunity to teach a summer enrichment class where students in grades 3-5 participated in the code.org curriculum. The five week period revealed substantial growth in coding and computer science knowledge. Aside from becoming talented coders, students demonstrated increased knowledge in math and science concepts. They often collaborated with peers and faced problem solving with more persistence. As an educator, witnessing students work together to solve problems was truly a gratifying teaching moment.
What is looks like in practice:
- Input your class using code.org’s teacher management page and allow students to begin one of the coding courses. Coding courses contain online videos, activities, and assessments. Students can work at their own pace and completion of any course offers a certificate.
- Want to unplug for a while? Courses offer a variety of unplugged activities that can be used in small or whole group settings.
- Allow students to try the hour of code which serves as the ideal introduction to coding and computer programming.
- How to Teach One Hour of Code Follow this complete how to guide.
Why coding and computer science?
- Digital literacy is essential to the 21st century learner.
- Computer Science drives innovation throughout the US economy, but it remains marginalized throughout K-12 education(code.org)
- Only 32 states allow students to count computer science courses toward high school graduation(code.org)
- There are currently 525,293 open computing jobs nationwide(code.org)
- Last year, only 42,969 computer science students graduated into the workforce(code.org)
- Computer science activities are cross curricular. Engage students in content practice while “cashing in” on their love of technology.
- Coding activities are meant to be collaborative.