Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It's Computer Science Week - Let's Launch our Students into the Future!

As many of you know, this week is National Computer Science Week which aligns with the Hour of Code.  Students all over the country are joining together to learn, explore, and grow with code.  This is a fun opportunity to get our kids excited about a field that will have over 1 million job openings by 2022.  Some of our kiddos and teachers in PPS have already begun their hour of code experience!

You may be saying to yourself...I don't know anything about computer science, how can I teach my kids this?  Good news?  There are so many wonderful opportunities out there that are student directed, that you do not need to know ANYTHING about computer science in order to give your students this opportunity.  Below are some excellent resources for getting your kids excited about CS!

Code.org: Appropriate for Y5 through Middle School students.  Provides four self directed courses, along with many other outstanding activities including Play Lab and Project Studio.

CS First: Appropriate for 4th Grade through Middle School students. Start your own computer science club with the Computer Science First curriculum provided by Google.  Learn more about this awesome opportunity here: http://ppstechtraining.blogspot.com/2015/11/google-computer-science-first-program.html

Made with Code: Designed to inspire girls to code, but appropriate for both genders, this site offers fun coding activities as well as great "mentor" videos about girls who are using code to change their worlds and inspire others.

Khan Academy: Appropriate for our secondary students.  Learn how to program drawings, animations, and games using JavaScript & ProcessingJS, or learn how to create webpages with HTML & CSS. You can share whatever you create, explore what others have created and learn from each other!

Scratch: Developed by MIT, this blockly programming site allows students to create their own programs.  Scratch is a very popular programming site used both by CS First and Project Lead the Way.

Tynker:  Appropriate for K-8th grade students.  Explore the great Hour of Code activities on Tynker.

Do you have a favorite computer science tool to use with students?  Please share in the comment section!  

Happy Coding!

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