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School District Unveils Pilot Computer Science Courses for High Schoolers

The Cabrillo Unified School District in Half Moon Bay California has begun experimenting with a new computer science program. The district joins many districts that are turning to computer science courses as a way to enhance their curriculum.

“In January, the Cabrillo Education Foundation announced that it was setting aside $40,000 in grants to support pilot computer science courses at school district sites this academic year,” according to the Half Moon Bay Review.

“The Cabrillo Education Foundation operates independently of the school district and allocates funding for Cabrillo Unified educational initiatives. It determines its allocations through an annual grant application and review process.”

Though the courses are being taught at the high school level, district leaders are seeing this is a way to prepare students for higher education and their careers. It’s seen as a somewhat new approach but other schools are implementing computer science courses into their classrooms putting much use to the EdTech devices and software available.

“In addition to literacy, science and 21st century learning, we chose computer science in a coordinated cross-district program as one of our four key focus areas because it helps students with college and career readiness and opens up new career pathways,” said John Ediger, the CEF board of directors vice president, in an email, according to the report.

While the University of California, Berkeley is involved in the project so is the organization called TEALS. Technology Education and Literacy in Schools is an organization that works to build high school computer science programs such as the Cabrillo Unified School District’s newly implemented courses. According to the report, they pair computer science professionals with classroom teachers. This enables the teachers to get the professional development necessary to oversee these sometimes-complex computer science courses.

“Currently, the high school students are applying computer science concepts like variables and loops to build classic games using Berkeley’s drag-and-drop Snap programming language,” according to the article.

“Later in the year they’ll create their own Web applications using standard languages like CSS, Javascript and HTML.”

Read the full story.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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