3 Simple Steps for Implementing Computer Science Into Your Learning Environment

 

In lieu of Computer Science Education Week (@CSEDWeek) and Code.org’s #HourOfCode, we’re going to continue the trend of supporting awareness around Computer Science in education by talking about a few simple ways you can take the inspiration of this week and bring it to your school or classroom.

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Let’s keep the robot rolling here and get started.

1.) Adopt the Initiative

You have to start where it all begins

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I know right, could we get more obvious? Honestly though, it does all start with you adopting the initiative to bring computer science to your school or classroom.

Of course, that can be thought of in a number of ways: from making the choice to invest in computer science technology, to reimagining classroom and school space so that it better supports an environment conducive to learning around computer science. It could even be as simple as starting with student awareness around computer science, ensuring you start with student engagement.

The point is, adopting the initiative can be more complicated than it seems. It’s not just about saying “hey, we want to bring computer science to our students,” it’s about developing a plan that help supports the implementation of that initiative.

Consider some of the following questions:

  • How will you ensure that each grade level has access to some form of computer science learning during the school week?

  • What forms of delivery will you use to teach your students about computer science?

  • Do you need to invest in any EdTech in order to supplement education around computer science (i.e. robots, drones, apps and devices)?

  • How will you get your school community involved with the implementation of a computer science program?

  • Are there any outside resources you may consider?

There are many other questions you will encounter while implementing computer science into your learning environment, but these questions, and their answers, provide a nice framework.

2.) After Planning, Start with Student Engagement

Your students love technology, leverage that passion

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There are the rare old souls in every generation who still are baffled by society’s growing dependency on technology, and who would rather listen to Led Zeppelin than the electronic equivalent (by the way, we love those “old souls”), but the majority of individuals in any generation are vastly impacted by the growth of technology.

The point being, your students already love tech, and are most-likely much more well-versed in its usage than you are. Sorry, those are just the facts of life associated with the generations of young learners currently emerging.

The benefit of this reality is that it’s not hard to engage your students with computer science, especially with the numerous resources and devices available to help ensure said engagement.

There are programs directly associated with robots and drones that encourage coding, computer science tasks and platform-building that develop step-by-step processes -- which essentially mirror some of the industry leading practices currently in use -- and tons of other resources you can use to support the implementation of computer science.

The bottom line is that you can pretty easily get your students engaged with computer science by incorporating practices that take advantage of some of the aspects of technology they already enjoy.

3.) Connect Computer Science to Other Learning Objectives

Use computer science skills to bolster other facets of learning

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Computer science will inevitably be a pivotal part of the future careers your students encounter, and connecting it to every-day learning objectives will only help bolster other study areas. Introducing your students to computer science, its invaluable impact on their futures, and giving them the opportunity to investigate it in detail is important.

Taking the initiative to implement strategies built to support a continued awareness around it is key, and luckily there are plenty of ways to incorporate computer science learning in a way that supplements some of the other learning you are doing.

Make the discovery of computer science fun, engaging and most importantly connected to other learning. When the strategies of computational thinking, logic and proactive learning are applied to other areas of study, the results and benefits are tremendous, and cannot be understated.

Takeaway

While Computer Science Education Week is a great time to start thinking about how computer science can be implemented into your classroom, continued thought around its implementation beyond CSEDWeek is important.

Identify some areas in your learning environment where awareness around computer science can start happening, and then continue to build it into other areas as it begins to gain traction.

Most importantly, remember that computer science is a gateway to the development of important skills like logic, computational thinking and proactive learning, which can be utilized in any desired study area.

Thanks for stopping by! If you have any comments, suggestions or musings drop us a line in the comment section below.

 

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