Thank you Education Week for bringing the computer science controversy to light in your current issue. The article titled “Computer Science: Not Just an Elective Anymore” is a follow-up to Code.org’s recent “Hour of Code” in which more than twenty million students participated in learning to code using Code.org’s list of online tutorials. The field of computer science is one of the fastest growing career fields with a projected 1.4 million job openings by 2020 that will only have approximately 400,000 potential qualified employees to fill those positions.
This is the second year I have been teaching intro to computer programming as part of the freshman-required Computing Technology course at Loyola School. I love Code.org–I use the video featuring big names like Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Bosh to introduce this unit, which sparks interest in those students who had never dreamed of learning to code. It’s been a success so far; I am hoping to expand it to an after-school club for those who are hooked on coding.
And guess what? I’m not a computer programmer. I’m learning while I teach.
Do I believe that computer science courses should be a substitute for language requirements in high school, like Texas? Absolutely not. Learning a foreign language helps students become more global, just like computer science. My question is: why do we have to choose? Let’s have our cake and eat it, too!
The Top 10 Library Stories of 2013
I apologize for being out of touch with this blog for so long, but life at Loyola got away from me for awhile. Now that it’s 2014, my resolution is to get back on track. Here’s an article that sums up the milestones of 2013–all the news and comments that I should have made.
Latest Study: A full-time school librarian makes a critical difference in boosting student achievement
The librarian helps bridge the gap by teaching information literacy skills through inquiry-based learning. We collaborate with teachers to incorporate these skills into the curriculum. Moreover, we pitch new books to kids based on their interests and reading levels to cultivate lifelong readers. Where else could you get this but from a library and a librarian?!
I’ll be teaching an intro to computer programming in my class this year. This is an inspirational video, I hope my students will be as convinced of its importance as I am!
Here are two links to livebinders that present a variety of Web 2.0 tools for digital instruction and information literacy.
The first is a presentation I gave to Fordham Preparatory School in Bronx, NY this afternoon. If you’re new to incorporating instructional technology into the classroom, this is the one to start with. I’ve included a few assignments from my class to illustrate how easy it is to plug in a variety of content.
This second livebinder is a well-curated compilation by an educator in North Carolina.
Here’s a great list for all those educators out there looking to use more Web 2.0 tools in the classroom.
Web Tools to Support Inquiry-Based Learning
Looking forward to WBN 2013! There are some good titles on this list. Can’t wait to get my book club kids involved in spreading the literacy love!
World Book Night 2013