Welcome to the annual Computer Science Education Week!
Schools around the country will be celebrating a week of Computer Science based activities to get more students, teachers and communities involved in Computer Science Education.
Students from K-12 will participate in coding activities across the country this week. Yes, you heard that right! Starting in Kindergarten students can learn the foundations of computer science. Entering a classroom of elementary school students coding is far different than entering a high school course on programming. But the same could be said for math and reading. So why not start them young on learning the language of computers through fun and engaging activities?
I say let’s get all our youngest students coding today!
Why is CS Education important?
Computer Science teaches students programming basics but it does far more. Students who participate in a Computer Science Curriculum experience digital literacy that promotes problem solving, critical thinking and perseverance. Students learn team building skills through projects where they can support each other and share exciting ideas or creations. And, when their creative programming runs successfully, a boost in self confidence.
Where can I start?
Code.org is a FREE website that parents and students can use to begin their coding adventure. Leveled activities allow coding beginners to create their own programs which range from a Dance Party to personalized Flappy Bird games. Check out their hour of code programming lessons here.
Advocacy for Computer Science Education
Code.org provides curriculum for many schools across the country, including here in Maryland. They also provide advocacy support for getting Computer Science education into the hands of all students. According to Code.org “computing occupations are the number 1 source of all new wages in the U.S. and make up over half of all projected new jobs in STEM fields, making Computer Science one of the most in demand college degrees.”
Computer Science is important for today’s students. It is no longer enough to learn to type, safely access the internet and create presentations. Digital age learners need to learn to express themselves by creating new ways to share and present information by writing code. The best part is – students will be able to write code before you know it! We just need to be sure to give them the tools they need to get there.
Tiffany Verhoosel is currently a Computer Science teacher in the Baltimore City School District. Coming from a background of business she joined the Baltimore City Teaching Residency over ten years ago to make the career change into education and has never looked back. Her degree from Johns Hopkins, a Master of Science in Digital Age Learning and Educational Technology, helped propel her from Special Educator to her current teaching position where she teaches Kindergarten to eighth grade students how to code.