Ready to equip your students with 21st-century skills that will prepare them for a tech-driven future? Coding is the key, as coding jobs are the #1 source of new wages in the US, and it's more accessible and impactful for schools than ever before. Furthermore, while 90% of parents want their child to study computer science, only 50% of high schools offer computer science. Here's how to get started with coding for schools, which can help students build their creativity and problem solving skills while having fun!
Book free virtual classes for your students (groups of 10+) - any time of the year! Create & Learn's award-winning live online class program serves all schools and community organizations, and has even partnered with SMASH and Meta's Engineer for the Week to teach students across the US. Just pick the activity you're interested in for your class (from these 10 fun options) and contact us.
How Coding Can Be Used in Schools
Coding can be used in schools in numerous ways to enhance learning, and prepare students for the future. Here are some key ways coding can be integrated into the educational setting:
- Cross-Disciplinary Learning: Coding can be integrated into other subjects such as math, science, and even humanities. For example, students can use coding to simulate scientific experiments or create interactive history timelines.
- Coding Clubs and Extracurriculars: Schools can establish coding clubs or offer coding as an extracurricular activity. This allows interested students to dive deeper into coding at their own pace.
- Career Readiness: Introducing coding early can prepare students for future careers in technology and computer science. Many industries require coding skills, and schools can give students a head start. Your students might enjoy learning from computer science experts about the varied and diverse jobs available in our free computer science events.
- Robotics and IoT: Schools can introduce coding in robotics programs or projects involving the Internet of Things (IoT). This hands-on approach helps students see the practical applications of coding in person.
- Problem-Based Learning: Coding can be used to tackle real-world problems. Students can develop solutions to local or global issues using coding as a tool. For example, check out the Congressional App Challenge, hosted by the members of the U.S. House of Representatives, which encourages middle school and high school students to create and submit their original apps that solve a district-specific problem.
- Coding Events and Competitions: Schools can participate in coding competitions and hackathons, which motivate students and provide opportunities for recognition. For example, VEX robotics competitions.
Incorporating coding into schools isn't just about teaching a technical skill; it's about equipping students with problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, creativity, and digital literacy that will benefit them in various aspects of their academic and professional lives.
How to Get Started with Coding in Schools
Here are a few steps to begin incorporating computer science education into your school.
1. Define Your Goals
Start by defining what you want to achieve with coding education. Is it fostering problem-solving skills, enhancing creativity, or preparing students for STEM careers? Clear goals will guide your program.
2. Choose a Curriculum
Select a coding curriculum that aligns with your objectives and students' age groups. There are various options, from block-based coding for beginners to text-based languages for advanced learners.
Award-winning platform Create & Learn offers live online expert-led classes for K-12 students already used by SMASH and Meta's Engineer for the Week in schools worldwide. Kids can enjoy 35+ computer science subjects (including AP classes) with a curriculum designed by professionals from Google, Stanford, and MIT. Pick from 10 fun computer science lessons for your students to learn, and get in touch for your free class!
3. Coding Tools and Platforms
4. Integration into Existing Curriculum
Identify opportunities to integrate coding into existing subjects. For instance, coding can enhance math, science, and even art lessons.
5. Train Educators
Invest in professional development for teachers to ensure they are comfortable with teaching coding. Many online resources and workshops are available, for example these resources from Code.org. Create & Learn can also train your teachers. Just get in touch with us to learn more via support(at)createandlearn(dot)us.
6. Coding Clubs and Extracurriculars
Consider starting coding clubs or offering coding as an extracurricular activity. This allows interested students to delve deeper into coding.
7. Assessment, Tracking, and Celebration
Determine how you will assess students' progress. Coding projects, quizzes, and coding challenges can be used for evaluation.
8. Engage Parents
Keep parents informed and involved in the coding journey. Hosting coding showcase events can help showcase students' accomplishments.
9. Scale Up
As your coding program grows, evaluate its effectiveness and consider expanding it to more grade levels or schools within your district.
10. Stay Informed
The field of coding is constantly evolving. Stay informed about the latest trends and updates to keep your program current. For instance, check out the latest ChatGPT AI resources for educators.
Explore Free School Coding Programs
There are also many free coding programs for elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.
These live online expert-led classes for K-12 students are already used by SMASH and Meta's Engineer for the Week in schools worldwide. Pick from 10 fun computer science lessons for your students to learn, and get in touch for your free activity class!
Code.org offers a comprehensive collection of lesson plans suitable for different age groups. These plans cover various coding concepts and incorporate engaging activities, puzzles, and games.
CS First empowers every teacher to teach computer science with tools and resources that are free of charge. Students learn through video-based lessons, with different themes like sports, art, and game design.
Coding for Schools
Coding for schools is not just about learning to code; it's about nurturing problem solvers, critical thinkers, and future innovators. By implementing a well-structured coding program, you're providing your students with a valuable skill set that will serve them well in an increasingly digital world. So, get started on your coding adventure today, and watch your students thrive!