Computing is all around us, from movies to manufacturing to marketing. But only a handful of Americans learn how computers work or can create software, websites, or applications. Computer Science Education Week (December 9-15, 2013) aims to change that equation. This year’s effort: an Hour of Code that organizers hope will engage 10 million students.
Computer science has the highest pay for new college graduates, twice the national average job growth of more than double the national average, and applications that stretch from rock music to medicine. Yet 9 in 10 schools don’t teach programming. Code.org hopes to change that with a host of free resources to get kids as young as four creating websites and apps.
The answer is computer programming, and advocates from Microsoft founder Bill Gates to former president Bill Clinton are pushing to include it in the K-12 curriculum.
Far from being complicated algorithms only a geek could master, code writing can be learned by just about anyone — even four-year-olds. Code.org has compiled a host of websites, courses, and other free resources to help students hone programming skills from building websites to creating phone apps. There also are tips for using code writing and programming projects and activities in math or science classes to cover content standards.
Tags: code writing, code.org, Computer Programming, Computer Science, Curriculum, Internet Resources, Lesson Plan, Resources for Teachers, STEM education, Teacher Resources, Technology for Learning, Website
Students can forget what they learned over the summer. To help stave off the slide, the U.S. government’s Kids.gov offers activities for kindergarteners through 8th graders, as well as resources for parents and teachers. Join the live Twitter chat June 20, 2013 to discuss fun and educational activities to do with kids this summer.
Khan Academy’s YouTube math tutorials may not be Academy Award quality, but their academic merit is clear from their popularity with students and teachers. Now, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and TED are adding to the K-12 STEM video playlist.
The James Dyson Foundation offers several educational resources online and through loans to teachers. Among them, the Engineering Box, available to Chicago-area schools, is designed to teach reverse engineering, can be borrowed for four weeks at a time for free. The Box’s items, which include a Dyson DC26 vacuum cleaner, are used in combination with the Foundation’s Teacher’s Pack and Product Analysis resources.
The Blended Learning Open Source Science or Math Studies (BLOSSOMS) initiative, a new project from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, creates videos with a STEM focus for use in high school classrooms. The program features a library with around 50 math and science lessons, available free for download or as streaming video, and also by request as DVDs and videotapes.
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program aims to provide each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop. To this end, hardware, content, and software has been designed for collaborative, fun, and self-empowered learning.
The DiscoverE Educator Awards from the National Engineers Week Foundation shine a spotlight on the educators who are inspiring tomorrow’s innovation generation. Unique to this program, engineers and engineering students are part of the nomination process. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 1, 2011.
Apple’s iPad hasn’t yet taken over the nation’s classrooms, but it’s starting to look as though it might. In Colorado, Manitou Springs Middle School plans to buy an iPad for every fifth-through-eighth grader next year and have one for every high schooler the following year. Now in pilot: an iPad-only algebra curriculum.