One of my favorite things about teaching code to kids and adults, as well as continuing my own learning, is that code is fundamentally a creative practice. Yes, code has syntax rules that must be learned before it makes sense, but like literature or music, once the syntax is mastered, the coder can compose a masterpiece. Sometimes, this masterpiece is a well-written script that performs a specific job really well; others, it's a game that a student has created and edited over time. Write, create, edit: these are words that we use to describe creative processes and code alike.
Now that I so clearly see the relationships between code and other creative pursuits, I can't wait to share it with others! Maybe you don't feel quite ready to jump into a class yet. If you are looking for resources to bring yourself or your students into coding or to get an introduction for a class, take a look at the free resource list; it gets bigger all the time! However, if you have done some coding and feel like learning with others, take a look at our classes for teachers. The resources here continue to grow along with our work in classrooms.
The 2016-2017 academic year is well underway, and there are exciting things happening at Teach Code headquarters this year! Questions of a philosophical and practical nature around how best to instruct people on the very improvisatory nature of problem solving with code are ever present in my mind as I work to create new training materials with new tools. There are some pieces that remain the same, but as is the case with technology, new tools have come out that will provide teachers with much ease in teaching their students how to code in the classroom.
One such tool, which will become a bedrock of Teach Code this year, is repl.it, a tool with a development team based out of San Francisco. My favorite part about repl.it is that they have managed to create flexible, real-time code environments that do not need to be installed on the computer, but still manage to save student work. Better still, there are 30 instructional programming languages available. Teachers are not tethered to any specific sequences of instruction, so students can work at any pace, on any project or code, and their correct responses will run correctly, even if they do not "match" an auto-grader, as is the case with many current tools. Yet, the code will be marked with an error message, which students can then look up to trouble shoot their issue.
Repl.it has truly created a tool that I am excited to use; I must say straight off that I stumbled upon them by accident and in no way am I being endorsed - their product is just so great that I feel the need to give them space and thanks.
Soon, you will be able to also find the public login for teach code repl.it example lessons available on the site! In the mean time, stop by their website and show them some love. If you already teach a code class, try it out. You'll be impressed.
Become a Teach Code Level 1 Python Educator!
Apply Here --> https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2464034/IPPD-Winter-16-Application
As part of the NYC Department of Education’s Innovation Partner Professional Development Program (IPPD) Teach Code would like to invite you to become a Teach Code Python Instructor, Level 1.
In this program, you will learn to code, but more importantly, you will learn how to teach Python coding language by learning to ask questions and seek answers with your peers who are also taking this program. You will learn how to use technology that is available to all of us, for free, to create a collaborative space in your classroom. Most importantly, the Teach Code approach does not focus on any special software to teach the classes, so the skills that you learn in this class and transfer to your students will make them college and career ready.
The TeachCode program is unique because it is designed by former Board of Education Teacher Jessica Ingrassellino, who has a Doctorate in Education with a specialization in Assessment. Additionally, Jessica has spent the past four years writing Python in her work as a test engineer for several tech start-ups throughout the city, and teaches Python to children at Queensborough Community College Teen College Program.
The program includes a face-to-face launch on February 12, 2016, at the Harlem Renaissance Training Center, 426 West 123rd Street, Manhattan, on the 6th floor of the building. There will also be a group celebration. The core of the program is online, with work that you will do on your as a program requirement. You can read more about our program or view the full offerings by logging on to the intranet.
Applications for this and all IPPD programs are due 5 p.m. Friday, January 29th. You can apply at https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2464034/IPPD-Winter-16-Application. You will be notified of your acceptance a week or more before the program launch. There is no cost for these programs.
For questions please, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Teach Code looks forward to working with each of you to share the fun, creativity, and love of code!
In a few weeks, applications will open up for teachers in New York City's public schools to take part in a training being offered by Teach Code through the Department of Education. The training is free, and will consist of several weeks of professional development where participating teachers will learn to write Python code, as well as discuss effective implementation of a coding curriculum in the classroom.
As any teacher knows, students have different entry points into a problem space, or learning space. Learning to program computers is no different. Some of the challenges that will be addressed are the technical setup of the classroom, including using WIndows, Mac, or Linux based computers. The curriculum can be accomplished in any space, simplifying what can be a tough aspect of any technology program implementation. Other challenges will include meeting the needs of students who struggle with some concepts, while challenging students who readily understand basic code concepts and are excited to do more.
I have had the opportunity to test this curriculum on students ages ten through eighteen, in groups of mixed ability, and every time I teach the class it just gets better and better. As a self-taught programmer, I understand the difficulties inherent in learning something that seems to be foreign, and I am excited to help others approach code with an open mind. I am so excited to share this creative world with others!
Hello! I have spent the past several months reflecting upon the TeachCode curriculum that was piloted successfully in New York City, and am making changes to the materials so that they will better serve teachers and students who wish to learn code.
For those who don't know about the TeachCode project, it focuses on helping schools include a full-year code curriculum that can be included in the regular school day as a daily class. The curriculum includes lesson plans that are mapped to Common Core curricula, rich assessments, and classroom materials like powerpoint presentations and videos to help teachers deliver material in an engaging manner. Additionally, this site will provide links to further instruction to reinforce the skills of students who may be struggling with concepts, provide extension lessons for students who are more advanced, and give teachers extra materials from which to learn and prepare.
As a former teacher with ten years of classroom experience, I understand the difficulty of planning material while trying to learn a new skill. Yet, as an educational consultant and software engineer in test, I recognize that we all must dive into something new to provide rich learning opportunities for students and help prepare them to explore, problem solve, think critically, and become independent learners using technology as a vehicle. This is why I am working on TeachCode: to make it easier for curious and engaged teachers to work together with their equally curious and engaged students to explore something new.
Currently, I am working to raise funds for the first year of official implementation of TeachCode. I am also working to find college and university partners willing to work with TeachCode to place undergraduate computer science, programming, or technologically talented interns in schools to both provide role models for students and technological expertise for teachers.
Anyone who may be interested in working on the official first-year implementation of TeachCode in 2015-2016, please do not hesitate to contact me!
All the best,
Dr. Jessica Ingrassellino
Jessica. . . is practical and honest about the challenges in education; but manages to make you feel like you can help solve the world's problems. Any time you can hear Jessica speak or read her work, you should do it.