The Digital Learning Team is here to answer questions you may have about implementing Computer Science in your school. If your question is not answered here, please reach out to us.
Is this going cost the school a lot of money?
No. While there are hardware such as robotics kits that could be expensive, there are also many no-cost solutions and curriculums available that allow schools to teach computational thinking using computers and Chromebooks that are already in the schools.
Our school does not have a computer teacher. Can we still teach coding?
Yes. Programming can be taught by any teacher in any discipline. In K-8, it can readily be integrated into literacy, science, math, art, or other subject areas. In high schools CS courses are typically stand-alone, but may be taught by teachers from other departments as long as it can be worked into the school schedule. In addition, there are plenty of tools available that teachers with no coding experience can teach it.
I’m a pre-K teacher. Isn’t it too early to start teaching coding?
No. In fact, it’s a perfect time to start! There are many tools that can be used to teach pre-readers early coding skills. Skills learned through early coding activities such as sequencing and giving precise instructions are beneficial for students in other academic areas including reading and math. There are many apps and hardware specially designed for pre-readers.
Is this going to take time away from core subject areas?
No. In K-8, coding can be integrated into other subject areas such as ELA, math, art, and science, so that kids are learning both traditional subjects and computational thinking at the same time. It can also be used to fill “gaps” in school schedule -- for example, a student who finishes his/her work early can log into code.org and work on code for a few minutes. Schools have also used coding lessons during exam weeks to fill in gaps during irregular scheduling. In kindergarten, coding activities can be set up as one of the centers to reinforce math and literacy concepts.
What hardware (computers, etc) do schools need to teach coding?
It depends on what tool you wish to use. Many of the tools are web-based and work on any browser (including Chromebooks). Many early childhood apps are tablet-based. There are some applications that only work on Mac or PC. Think about what hardware you have at your school before choosing a tool or curriculum.
If you have more questions, please contact Rashmi Pimprikar (firstname.lastname@example.org), Nick Gonzales (email@example.com) or Haruna Hosokawa (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.