Computer Science (CS) week for 2022 is coming up soon, December 5-11, 2022. CSEdWeek.org notes that “computer science education week is an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for equity, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field.” Every one of these items listed in the call to action is a worthwhile venture for educators. You will undoubtedly see many mentions on social media, through your schools, and great organizations such as CodeVA and Code.org. Each will hopefully come with resources to help you get started, collaborate, and contribute greatly to your student’s CS knowledge. Here are a few favorites of teachers I’ve worked with to help your planning begin:
- eMedia VA Search (over 7,000 resources for CS)
- Google: Applied Digital Skills, CS First
- Hour of Code
- #GoOpenVA: Advancing Computer Science, CodeVA
- Teachers First
- Khan Academy
I know that not every student will become a programmer or have a career that uses advanced CS knowledge. I would challenge, though, that every student can absolutely benefit from exposure to CS and knowledge of both its basics and vocabulary. CS has a direct and powerful connection to critical thinking, the design process, a growth mindset, digital citizenship, gamification, and more. Integrating small pieces into your instruction can prove the needed spark to connect students that would otherwise be hard to reach or disengaged.
Even if you’re not looking to do a deep dive into CS and how it could integrate with your instruction, you can utilize Hour of Code Activities to use a ready-to-go, short activity, to give your students some CS experience and possibly connect to a student’s passion.
In the world of CS and instruction outside of technology or career and technical education (CTE), starting small and building upon successes while supported by coaches is a great way to proceed. Reach out to those in your district or your virtual PLN, you’ll find amazing educators ready and willing to help out.
Patrick Hausammann is an ITRT in Clarke County and an eMediaVA Ambassador.