The now-annual Computer Science Education Week is happening this year on December 5-December 11. The week presents educators with a unique opportunity to expose students to computer science and promote subject skills, even in the 18 states that don’t yet allow students to count computer science courses towards high school graduation.
According to Code.org, the organizer of Computer Science Education Week, 21st-century students “should have a chance to learn about algorithms, how to make an app, or how the Internet works.”
This kind of foundational knowledge, the organization says, should become as commonplace in K-12 education as is “photosynthesis, the digestive system, or electricity.”
If you want to participate in the 7th annual Computer Science Education Week but aren’t sure how, here are several ways you can get started.
The Hour of Code has become a global movement that involves students in over 180 countries that has served nearly 300 million individuals with its relevant, engaging tutorials.
Though Hour of Codes are encouraged as introductory computer science lessons that can happen at any point during the school year, administrators and teachers are especially encouraged to get involved during Computer Science Education Week.
Code.org provides educators with all of the tools they need to participate, including tutorial, lesson plans, promotional tools and even plans for technology needs.
Inspirational videos available on Code.org’s site from computer science gurus like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and more help provide students with the motivation they need and the perspective of what success in computer science looks like.
Teachers even have the option to provide students who complete the Hour of Code with printable certificates, stickers or custom-ordered T-shirts.
An activity that will only take a couple of minutes, Code.org asks individuals in every state to sign a petition that advocates for computer science instruction in every state.
Not to mention, the petition’s page allows you to select your state on an interactive map and see if your state has funding dedicated to CS professional development, if it requires high schools to offer CS, and if it has K-12 CS curriculum standards. It also allows you to see how many open computing jobs your state has, how that compares to the state average demand rate, and how many computer science graduates are in the state.
If you have experience in computer science, Code.org is encouraging volunteers to help spread CS education.
Volunteering opportunities include mentoring children who want to learn how to code, volunteering in Intro and AP CS classes at local high schools and teaching computer programming at extended-day programs.
Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor