This massive worldwide event is dedicated to promote awareness of computer science for people of all ages, and to shed light of how important it is for our younger generation to become adept in languages that will likely be in their fields of study in the future. It really is an awesome thing for both students and staff to be aware of and participate in, which Nipissing-Parry Sound CDSB classes did just that.
Last week was arguably the most fun I’ve ever had in this role. Visiting schools and classrooms across our board, seeing students and staff so engaged and excited about learning computer science, regardless if it was introductory coding activities through code.org and Google CS First, the fire has been set!
The media even visited us for an hour of code, and were also amazed by the engagement that was evident.
But this can only be the beginning.
The hour of code can’t be a one-off, however, or you might as well not even bother; it has to be the beginning of a journey. This journey can be for the students, or yourselves as leaders, or better yet – both!
This year so far I have mistakenly overfilled my to-do list with ideas that I want to try this year as we explore computer science and it’s effects on student achievement and engagement. For starters, from coding in elementary to intermediate classrooms using Scratch JR, Scratch, Makey Makey and Spheros; how do these tools fit? Do they? Being such a new journey for me, I find myself struggling trying to make a manageable to-do list as I want to go full steam ahead with everything that I’m seeing.
That’s where having thirteen teachers, spanning grade 1 to grade 8, coming together to investigate these such things in a collaborative inquiry will make this a rich learning experiment.
One of the key people inspiring me as I’ve mentioned in my previous post is Lisa Floyd. A recent post of her’s entitled Carrying the Momentum Surrounding Coding (Code On!), encourages different entry points into coding such as tutorials and remixing other projects. She also tells people to not be afraid to jump into the world of coding. There is an amazing network of people out there to help and when in doubt, ask your students!
So yes, the journey is still in the early stages, and I along with teachers in our CI group can’t wait to dive into this after the holidays!