Author - Kristin Oropeza

Computational Thinking for the Digital Age

College course scene

As Computer Science Education Week wraps up, some teachers may be looking ahead for the “What’s Next?” If you were inspired by this week’s activities or if any of the activities you did in your classroom got you pumped up to try (and learn!) more about computer science, check out ISTE’s FREE course on Computational Thinking.

ISTE says this of the course:

“In the digital age, computational thinking (CT) is an essential skill for students and educators alike. This systematic approach to solving problems is at the foundation of not just computer science, but many other subject areas – and careers – as well. Developed with support from Google, Introduction to Computational Thinking for Every Educator unpacks how CT can be integrated throughout subject areas and grade levels.”

Enrollment continues now through February 11, 2019 for this 15-hour self-paced online course. Included with enrollment is on-going instructor support from Mike Karlin and Heidi Williams – two educators with passions and professional ties to the world of computer science.

And, did I mention that this course is completely FREE!

For more information or to sign-up, visit: ISTE Computational Thinking

Dive into Computer Science with Hour of Code!

Hour of Code

The holidays aren’t the only thing we can look forward to celebrating this December! This coming week marks the start of Computer Science Education Week (December 3-9). Computer Science Education Week is held annually in recognition of computing pioneer Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).

But really…what is “Hour of Code“? Initially, it started as a one-hour crash course into computer science (CS) – a look behind the curtain to show that anybody (really, ANYBODY) could learn coding basics…and hopefully through these initial activities, could inspire and encourage further participation in the area of CS. Since it’s original conception, it has become a worldwide effort to celebrate all things CS and to bring coding and computer science into more classrooms around the globe.

Ready to jump in? Here are some great resources to get you started:

Matt Miller (Ditch That Textbook) provides a list of activities in his “20 Ways to Celebrate the Hour of Code in ANY Classroom” that can be completed in an hour, are offered in multiple languages and have teacher guides. The list also includes ideas for those classrooms that may not have the technology to use – including an “unplugged” traveling circuits activity that teaches students coding basics without being tethered to a device.

Karly Moura also curated a “30+ Hour of Code Resources” via Wakelet. Included on her list are a plethora of ready to go lessons for the G-Suite – including a HyperSlide presentation aimed at our youngest K-2 coders.

Finally, Kasey Bell (Shake Up Learning) has some great information for those just wanting to start up their first Hour of Code, along with a list of resources (categorized by content and age) and some helpful hints at moving beyond the first hour.

Now, if you aren’t inspired yet to get your feet wet or just full on DIVE into your first hour of coding, take a couple minutes to watch Code.org‘s video on Hour of Code. The students’ smiles and looks of elated joy will make you jump up and run to the nearest computer to get your next CS lesson!