Working in secondary education since 2001 has allowed me to see how 21st century technologies are changing the educational landscape. Technology has crept into all corners of our society changing the way we communicate, learn, experience and live our lives. Students graduating today need skills that were not even conceived of 20 years ago. Many of our student’s first jobs will be careers that don’t even currently exist.
I enjoy working at the high school level bringing the world of code to my students. Their inquisitive nature and desire to ask “how does that work” or “what happens when” makes my teaching experience extremely fulfilling. I have learned from this experience that 21st century learners need to be exposed in greater depth to programming skills and the thought processes involved in creating programs at a much earlier age than high school. Unfortunately computer programming is not part of many of our student’s curriculum at the elementary or secondary levels. I believe that with the available programming languages today I can successfully bring computer programming learning opportunities to the pre-k, elementary and middle school grades.
Through our Code Play Learn programs students will develop essential learning skills they will apply throughout their lives. Two key skills I want to highlight are:
- Code Play Learn participants will build their ability to think critically through the examination of existing programs and the creation of their own programs. Computer programming inspires students to think analytically as they need to explore "how" and "why" something works. They are also driven to be creative as they design, build, test and fix their own computer programs.
- Students in our program will focus on their ability to communicate what they have accomplished. The stereotype that many computer programmers cannot communicate to their user is unfortunately very true. Our goal is that students will be able to explain how their programs work and the code they created in a user friendly format.
“Here we are, 2013, we ALL depend on technology to communicate, to bank, and none of us know how to read and write code. It's important for these kids, right now, starting at 8 years old, to read and write code.“ will.i.am Musician/The Black Eyed Peas and Entrepreneur