Learning Computer Science Is Just Like All other Subjects

LEGO mini figs from Back to the Future movie and a laptop with a DeLorean sticker

Recently President Obama made an announcement that he was pledging 4 Billion dollars to Computer Science education for kids.

As a Computer Science teacher, I am happy to see the spotlight put on this subject.

However, with all the new attention it can quickly stir up an urgent feeling in parents and educators to get started ASAP. We don’t need to feel rushed to figure it ALL out today people!

I see computer science/coding like any other subject matter. We start at the basics, just like we do when learning math. We teach addition & subtraction and then build on that as we go along, year by year. It’s exactly the same with computer science.

There are many awesome resources out there to use when getting started. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel and make up new curriculum.

Here are 2 sites to Start With:

1)  Brain Pop

It has a whole section on topics related to computers. They are very entertaining, short videos that kids will love. A robot and boy teach the subjects. It is a tool many teachers use in their classroom because it really is the best. There is also Brain Pop JR for younger kids.

I sometimes build classes around a topic from Brian Pop videos.

Here is a screen shot of some subjects it covers:

Brain Pop Computer Science Subjects

2)  Scratch by MIT

Sign up for a free account and have the kids go through the short 12 step tutorial to get familiar with the program, then let them run loose.

I put together a few quick Scratch lesson on Enboard if you need some projects. Some projects include Pong, A Witch/Key game, and B-Ball game.

When you start the search for the perfect curriculum for computer science, you will find a lot out there, which will feel overwhelming. But just start with one site you like and build a few lessons with that.

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