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Compulsory coding

| June 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

One of the most sensible ways to integrate technology into the classroom, says the American Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), is to require high school students to graduate with computer science certification.

Across the US, schools are heeding the call and coding is now a compulsory school subject in schools in 25 states – up from 11 in 2013.

In these schools, coding has been embedded into the core curriculum from kindergarten onwards. The lessons are geared towards inculcating logical reasoning, algorithmic thinking and structured problem-solving.

The CSTA projects that by 2020, over 778 300 computerrelated jobs will be available to graduates. The organisation advocates quality teacher training and curricula that teach internet safety, hardware and software basics and algorithm studies within the context of other academic subjects.

The school district of Springfield in Pennsylvania is leading the way when it comes to coding. Very young learners receive basic computing instruction 30 times a year for 45 minutes. Middle school pupils use digital tools, for example, to collect data, such as temperature and wind speed to calculate the day’s average temperature. All senior students must master robotics, programming, animation and computational thinking to matriculate.

The city of Minnetonka in Hennepin County, Minnesota, is serious about teachers getting on board the coding bus. Educators must belong to prescribed online support communities and receive a small stipend as an incentive to complete an introductory online computer programing course. The city is also flooding its schools with tech coaches who can offer support in class when challenges occur.

Category: Winter 2015

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