This summer, five educators from the Champlain Valley School District participated in the code.org Professional Learning Program through Project>Login. Three of us did the training for the Computer Science Discoveries course (for grades 6-10) and two trained for Computer Science Principles (grades 9-12). It was a wonderful week of learning and community building with other educators from the northeast region. We came away invigorated and ready to apply our learning to our Rowland Foundation project work.
The workshops had just the right balance of computer science content, pedagogical practice, and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) work. The materials from code.org are thoughtfully and thoroughly designed so that teachers with no background in computer science can teach the course in the role of "lead learner"-- including a number of engaging hands-on widgets that truly promote student discovery. The workshop facilitators gave us opportunities to experience the curriculum both as students and teachers, working independently, in small groups, and all together.
This year, we are revamping the computer programming class at the high school to include units and materials from the Computer Science Principles course. We plan to offer the full Computer Science Principles course starting in the 22-23 school year. In addition, there will be over 75 high school students and multiple K-8 students who will be experiencing the Computer Science Discoveries course. We are excited that this is the beginning of growing our district's CS experiences for all students.
We are so pleased to have had this opportunity from Project>Login and code.org to grow the ranks of teachers able to bring Computer Science to students as we work to develop a K-12 CS curriculum for CVSD.
We would recommend these workshops strongly to anyone interested in building a new or enhancing an existing computer science program for their students.