This is CUE’s first of 5 posts celebrating Computer Science Education Week (#CSEdWeek). Follow the hashtag throughout the week across social media.
I have a confession to make. Up until about 2 years ago, I knew next to nothing about computer science. I had seen code.org and even dabbled in Scratch but that was it. Other than that I was pretty clueless (read: absolutely clueless) on what computer science really was. This year I am teaching computer science K-5 at Sun Terrace Elementary STEM magnet school. How did I go from knowing zero about a subject to teaching it to over 500 kids??? Well here’s the secret… I am still learning and learning with, and often from, the students. I am not the gatekeeper of knowledge in my class. The kids often figure things out ahead of me and if the kids have a question, sometimes I DON’T have the answer! Luckily I have a go-to statement that I use every day with almost every class, “I don’t know but I bet we can figure it out together.”
Why teach Computer Science?
Computer Science is more than just coding or programming. It is the study of computers (hardware and software), how they work, how to use them to solve problems and to create not just consume. As my student Jasmine said, “The best thing about computer science is that it’s fun, it teaches you that it’s OK to make mistakes, and you get to be creative.”
Celebrating the Hour of Code
How did I get to be so passionate about a subject that I knew so little about? It all started with a little movement called The Hour of Code. The Hour of Code aims to get people all over the world interested in computer science and will be officially celebrated during the week of December 4-10, 2017. There are TONS of resources available for teachers pre-k to higher ed who want to get started with the Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week. No computers? No problem! Some of the best Hour of Code activities are completely unplugged.
For Hour of Code resources, check out my Smore page.
Make EVERY week Computer Science Education Week!
San Francisco Unified School district is a leader in providing Computer Science for ALL. The just received the Code.org and Computer Science Teachers of America 2017 Champions for Computer Science District award. They truly embody the CS for ALL mindset and have made their incredible Creative Computing curriculum available for all of us. I can’t say enough about this team and the resources they share. Follow them on Twitter at #
CSEdWeek is a fantastic way to get your kiddos, and yourself, hooked on computer science. But don’t stop there! Keep computer science education going in your class long after the holidays are over. You can do it. I promise. Check out the resources above and start practicing the phrase “I don’t know but I bet we can figure it out together.”
Blog Author Note: Hour of Code is November 4 -10, but Guest Author Karly Moura provides resources and ideas to keep the computer science learning all year long.
Karly Moura is a Technology TOSA (Teacher On Special Assignment) and Computer Science teacher at Sun Terrace Elementary School STEM Magnet school in Concord, CA. Connect with Karly via email or on Twitter at @.