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Computer Science Resources

computer graphicActor Ashton Kutcher considers “computer coding to be an institution in the public school systems,” right up there with biology, chemistry and physics. Rapper will.i.am, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and former President Bill Clinton are also huge programming fans.
And Apple founder Steve Jobs thought everybody in America  should learn how to program a computer “because it teaches you how to think.”

Compared with other STEM courses, however, few U.S. high school students take computer science or learn to write code. To help teachers and students as young as six explore this rewarding field – computer engineering graduates command top salaries and U.S. colleges can’t fill demand for them – eGFI has compiled this list of activities, free online courses, computer animations, and other resources:

  • App Inventor. Six-week curriculum to teach high school students programming created by Google intern Michelle Hutton.
  • Code.org. Anyone can program a computer – and every student should learn how. That’s the mantra of this collection of free tutorials, apps, Code Academy, and other resources to get kids as young as six starting to program.
  • Code Hero. A game about making games that teach coding.
  • Codes and Ciphers Teaching Resources. Britain’s Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching and Bletchley Park National Codes Centre collaborated with other related organizations to create 20 lessons covering braille to the Enigma machine, with teacher resources, pupil texts, and overhead slides.
  • Computer Science for All Teachers. Funded by the National Science Foundation and American Institutes for Research, this online community of practice includes resources, such as the yearlong Exploring Computer Science course for high school students, a blog, and online help squad.
  • Computer Science Unplugged. Free, engaging activities that teach computer science using string, games, cards, and other items – except computers.
  • Exploring Computer Science – Teaching Resources. Find activities, research reports, and other material for teaching topics ranging from artificial intelligence to computational thinking, robotics, and problem solving.
  • Khan Academy Computer Programming. Lessons in basic programming to SQL and webpage design.
  • LeadCS.orgUniversity of Chicago site for district, school, and teacher leaders who want to start a computer science program in their schools.
  • Made with Code. Google’s project to inspire girls to learn computer science programming includes videos of women who use their coding skills to help society or run businesses, projects, and other resources.
  • MIT’s Scratch. Program your own interactive stories, games, and animations to share with people around the world using a free, picture-based s0ftware developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.
  • MITedX – Free massive, open online courses that include introduction to computer programming.
  • PBS Education‘s Teachers Lounge has a Bring Coding to Your Classroom-TOMORROW site with links to resources that let you do just that.
  • Seven sites that make programming fun for kids. A compilation from Fractus Learning includes Scratch, Hackety Hack, and Alice.
  • ScratchEd. Curriculum guides, discussion boards, and other free resources for teaching everything from programming to creative writing.
  • TryComputing.org. The IEEE’s site on careers in computing includes lessons on algorithms, decision trees, and virtual reality.

Also check out the eGFI Teachers newsletters from September 2013  and October 2016 for computer engineering classroom activities and feature stories.

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