Computer Science Education Week

An annual event, this year’s Computer Science Education Week is December 7-13. It’s an opportunity to work with students to either introduce or push them further in studies dealing with Computer Science Education.

As we know, it’s been a strange year and so it may not be possible to order those kits of micro:bits or robots or even get down on the floor to do the traditional programming activities that might be done at this time of the year.

That’s OK. We all get that. However there may be other opportunities. First of all, the big question is “Why Computer Science?” and the answer has never been so seemingly obvious. My go to resource is Douglas Rushkoff’s Program or Be Programmed. I first heard Mr. Rushkoff at a CSTA Conference in New York City. I’d like to say that he changed my life but I’d always been of that philosophy and could never understand why the Grade 10 Computer Studies course, at a minimum, wasn’t required for graduation.

What student today doesn’t pack a powerful computer in the form of a smartphone in their pocket? At the very least, they should be able to program that device and make it to their bidding.

At his website, Rushkoff even includes a study guide to accompany his book.

Here are a few more resources to supplement and help the cause.

Curriculum

Just recently, Peter McAsh alerted me to a resource created by Amanda Deneau showing the connections to the Ontario Curriculum.

ECOO Resource

A couple of years ago when I was president of the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario, Peter Skillen was good enough to create a resource we called #ECOOcodes. It’s not currently linked to any of the menus but you can access it directly here. From Peter’s blog, there was an insightful post about why the topic should be addressed “now“.

#CSEdWeek

The CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association) along with a group of other associations have developed a website to support teachers for the week. The focus is on Social Justice and opens with a panel discussion on Monday night. In addition to all the resources shared, there is a collection of downloadable posters.

Canada Learning Code

This is full of ideas and resources to support Learning Code and more. They recognize the varieties of ways that students, teachers, and family are connected and learning in these times and have you covered. Their highlight is Digital Citizenship but poke around for more. Registration is required to access some of the resources.

Hour of Code

It may well be that the Hour of Code may be one of the resources that leap to mind when you think of Computer Science Education Week. The content here continues to grow and has so much covered.

CODE to LEARN at home

A Canadian resource, they have been very active with online webinars and philosophy about programming with a wide scope with a little something for everyone. There are some really unique ideas here.

Scratch

Maybe the granddaddy of them all for programming at all ages is the Scratch resource from MIT. It just continues to grow and is rich with all that is available to and created by the Scratch coding community.

BBC micro:bit

If you’re fortunate enough to have access to the micro:bit for your class and students, there are some really amazing interactive opportunities and inspiration for programming.

I think it’s quite obvious that the collection above is certainly not all-inclusive. If you can think of a resource that should/could be shared with a wider audience, please do so in the comments.

8 thoughts on “Computer Science Education Week

  1. Good morning, Doug!

    Thank you for the reminder of the excellent #ECOOcodes resource that Peter Skillen developed during the 2017-18 year when the three fo us were all together on the ECOO Board. I have added the page to the ECOO Resources menu on the ECOO.org site.

    I will also point your readers to the Education Not-for-Profits page on the ECOO site, which highlights all recipient organizations that have a presence in Ontario — including Peter Skillen’s Code to Learn, BlackboysCode, Canada Learning Code, Coders North, First Robotics Canada, Hackergal, ICTC, Kids Code Jeunesse, Pinnguac, The Learning Partnership, and Youth Fusion.

    The ECOO site also provides information and links to additional Coding Platforms beyond Scratch and Hour of Code — Circuit Playground Express, LynxCoding, Microbit, Minecraft Codebuilder, Python, Trinket, and Tynker.

    For early readers of this Saturday post, today’s portion of #MicrobitLIVE is available from 5:30 am through to 9:00 am.

    Like

  2. Hi again, Doug!

    I was unable to post my initial comment with the 3 links embedded — I gather your Akismet has a threshold of 1 link per comment. I’ve posted each of the intended links as individual replies to my initial comment.

    I also notice that the intended text in the second full paragraph omits the intended reference to CanCode: ” … all CanCode recipient organizations …” I gather that the tag angle brackets that usually accompany the cancode wordmark caused the text to be interpreted and removed as unrecognized markup.

    Fun and games!

    Like

  3. Pingback: OTR Links 12/06/2020 – doug — off the record

  4. Pingback: My Week Ending 2020-12-06 – doug — off the record

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