Computer Science, Professional Development

Computer Science Education Week #CSEdWeek

Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) – is an annual event to promote computer science especially at the K-12 level. CS Education Week is so much more than learning to code and getting students to participate in the “hour of code.” Although the “hour of code” is a great intro to CS, there is just so much more to CS than coding. If you have a moment, check out my blog on Computer Science.

We EAT, LIVE, and BREATHE computer science each day. CS is embedded into every fiber of our existence.

  • Did you use your phone to wake you up this morning?
  • Did you use an app to pre order your coffee?
  • How about checking the map apps to see if there is any traffic?
  • Did you order your groceries online?
  • Did you create a flyer to promote an event at your work, school, church, etc…?

In a world where technology is now ubiquitous our students need to be equip to be producer of information rather than consumers.

Today, all 50 states have adopted computer science standards in K-12. All are at different levels of implementation. This past fall, VDOE provided Virginia school districts a computer science curriculum framework to assist and support teachers with the integration of CS into the curriculum.

Baby steps! And it’s not about buy-in! It’s changing the mindset of how we perceive the words computer and science. Understanding and realizing that for the most part we are already integrating many computer science concepts into our instructions (e.g. sequencing, events, algorithm, loops, etc…). It’s more about being intentional and purposeful with integrating those concepts into our daily instruction.

But how do we go about teaching our students? We begin with our teachers. I am by no means a computer science expert, but I have taken an interest. As opportunities are made available, I try to learn more about CS and how to integrate it into curriculum and share that knowledge with others.

This year, I created two CSEdWeek resources for teachers.

computer-science-education-week

CSEdWeek Resource for teachers, click HERE to download a copy.

Here’s a resource you can share with your teachers to provide them some teachable CS resources!

computer-science-education-week
Computer Science Education Week – BINGO

Share this resource with teachers, and have them take some time this month as we celebrate Computer Science Education Week (December 9-13) to see why learning and teaching computer science has become part of the K-12 curriculum. 

Kudos to you for taking the next step in providing teachers and students the skills and knowledge they will need to be successful problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and developers of solutions. Happy CSEdWeek!

Interested in learning about the different careers in computer science, click Careers in Computer Science.

This post contains affiliate links. I will make a commission on any product you buy through those links at no extra charge to you.

Computer Science

What is Computer Science?

If you are reading this, you have asked yourself this question, what is computer science? If you are a K-12 educator, two of the most recent buzz words that are going around are “computer science.” If you are anything like me, those two words caused complete and utter terror within my brain, but then, as I typically do, I set out to conquer that fear!

So what did I do you may ask? Well, first off, I took it upon myself to read, read, read, and then read some more. I read books about coding, I scoured the internet in search of more info about computer science and how to integrate into the curriculum. I even made a Pinterest Board to save all my resources.

But what I found most useful was to create a visual that allowed me to put computer science in perspective (see image below). This is for my use only. I needed something that represented the meaning behind why computer science is mainstreamed now.

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Making Sense of Computer Science

Innovation, Creativity, Expression and Career Readiness The “big idea” is that we want our students to be career ready, we want them to be able to express themselves, to be innovators and have a medium to create.

Computational Thinking & PBL – We want our students to be able to think computationally. We want them to be able to break bigger problems into smaller more manageable parts. We want them to be able to analyze a situation and look for patterns. We want them to be able to remove any unnecessary parts of a problem and make one solution work for multiple problems. Finally, we want them to be able to provide step by step instructions on how to do something.

Click HERE, to learn more about Computational Thinking.

STEM & STEAM – Interest is STEM in the classroom has exploded in the past 10 years or so. We now know that we need to ensure that we are providing students learning experiences that encompasses an interdisciplinary and applied approach to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

Computer Science – This is where computer science comes into play. In essence, in my opinion, I believe that computer science is solving real-world problems and creating solutions using computers. In a world where technology is now ubiquitous, our students need to be equip to be producer of information rather than consumers.

Programming and Coding – This is where I ran into some conflicting information. Everyone had a different opinion about the meaning of these terms. However, I found that keeping it simple and separate was the best option for me. Programming is writing instructions for a computer to perform and coding is programming with a tool.

I must say, taking the time to think this through provided me the needed insight to intentionally and purposefully educate others about computer science. I see the “big picture” and why it’s important for students to be developing their CS skills at the elementary school level. We are growing their problem-solving skills, their ability to communicate and collaborate, and their ability to logically work through problems and create solutions.

Computers science is just a means to work faster and more efficiently and effectively.

I would love to hear your thoughts about computer science! Please feel free to leave a comment!

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