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!
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.