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Coding With Kids: K-5 Educator Workshop

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With the recent relaunch of The Div and our renewed commitment to our children’s program, I’m totally on board with anything that increases opportunities for kids to engage with technology, especially when the ultimate goal is to teach them to become makers, not just users.

Code Studio is Code.org’s open-source learning platform designed to teach students the basics of computer science, starting as early as kindergarten. Kids can use Code Studio on their own, or when it’s taught in the classroom. The curriculum is outstanding and educators are given all the tools they could possibly need to help their students grasp the concepts.

Code.org also offers free, one-day professional development workshops to help K-5 teachers and administrators integrate the system into their classrooms. I had the opportunity to attend one of those workshops this week. It was held at the OU’s College of Education and taught by Adam Carr, a code.org trained affiliate and technology instructor at Bridge Creek High School in Bridge Creek, Oklahoma.

The workshop was so interesting and engaging and I walked away with a ton of new knowledge on how to make computer science education fun for little learners.  The coolest part of this experience, for me, was learning about “unplugged” activities that make learning computer science basics truly accessible to kids of all ages and in all types of situations. We learned graph paper programming and made binary bracelets that represented our initials. The unplugged activities also make the lessons easier to grasp once you do get online. Some of them are even recommended for kids as young as 4-5 years old!

If you’re an educator interested in professional development, you can check to see if a course is being offered soon in your area or complete the training online.

Speaking of Code.org, the annual Hour of Code event is next month! Held during Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13, the Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

Code.org teamed up with Disney and Lucasfilm to launch an awesome Star Wars tutorial for Hour of Code 2015. You can do use these tutorials to learn programming skills yourself, share them with your own kids or use them in a classroom setting. To learn more about Hour of Code, visit code.org.  

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