Building Awareness of Computer Skills with Capstone!
Every December, schools participate in activities to help students understand coding and the need for skills in computer science. The goal is to provide students with opportunities to learn about these areas and spark some interest that might lead to a future career or enrich their learning experiences.
Because of the increasing emphasis on computer science and coding, there are more resources available to help educators create opportunities for students to learn about these topics. To support educators, the “Hour of Code” takes place during “Computer Science Education Week” which is in recognition of the birthday of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, a computing pioneer. Check out the great resources available to students from PebbleGo!
The purpose of having students participate in the “Hour of Code” is to show that anyone can code and to spark curiosity in coding and STEM. We also want students to understand how vital computer science knowledge is, as it helps them to develop the skills they need to be prepared for their future. Understanding the work of people who influenced some of the changes in technology and led to the creation of innovative tools that we have today is important.
Other benefits of learning about coding is that it can help to promote SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) skills as well. For example, in various coding programs, students develop their self-awareness as they work through the challenges of coding, develop a greater understanding of their strengths, and set goals for based on this self-awareness. Students can also experience more inquiry based learning, as they explore on their own, problem solve, and share their learning with peers while building their skills of collaboration.
For some students, the idea of coding and working with programming can seem to be a challenge, but with these materials for students to explore, we can help them to build confidence and spark their curiosity for learning!
Explore the article on Computer Programming and Coding! Students can work through each part of the article and understand how to write code, figure out bugs in programs, and then how to program. When they finish, they can create with PebbleGo Create to share an idea for a program that they would make and how it would impact the world!
Students can find many relevant resources about computers, computer software, computer programming, and the people who had an impact. Learning about Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, or Grace Hopper for example, can help students build their understanding of how computers and programming evolved to enable us to do the work and connect with others using the technology available to us today.
For some educators, topics like coding, computational thinking and STEM fields can seem challenging to bring into the classroom. Whether due to a lack of resources, not knowing where to begin, or not having confidence in teaching students about these topics, opportunities are sometimes missed. However, there are many resources available from Capstone! Students can read books to learn about coding and the people who made an impact on computer science and so much more!
Within the Computer Programming lesson, students can then select more books on coding from the additional articles and books available. Help students understand the terms related to computer hardware and software, how coding works and how cars drive! Students can then design a presentation to showcase an idea for creating a computer, or a robot, or their own self-driving car even!
For more resources, check out the Code Play series from Caroline Karanja for a great way to get students to understand how coding works and see it in everyday life.
Why we need to teach about coding
With an estimate of 3.5 million jobs related to STEM that will need to be filled by 2025, we need to find ways to create more learning opportunities for our students. We need to find ways to give our students and ourselves an opportunity to learn about topics like coding and computational thinking and how they apply in our daily lives and how it could possibly benefit us in the future. With Capstone, teachers can find all of the STEM related resources they need through the libraries of materials for students of all grade levels. There are even books on fun STEM challenges and topics like coding, robotics club, and more!
Students can choose a book to read and share what they have learned. Using PebbleGo Create, they can design a visually engaging representation of what they have learned and build SEL skills as well as their interest in STEM!
With the resources, students can learn about the key events that led to changes in the world of STEM and coding. For example, with Grace Hopper, students can see the work that she did and then discover how her work impacted our world today.
When we give students opportunities to engage in more student-driven, independent, hands-on learning, it attaches more meaning and authenticity to the work that they're doing. With opportunities to learn about emerging technologies and jobs of the future using meaningful and authentic resources from PebbleGo and Capstone, we empower students to build their skills in ways that meet their interests and needs and definitely their curiosities!