Curriculum Developer Spotlight: Stephanie Bennett - Ellipsis Education

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Curriculum Developer Spotlight: Stephanie Bennett

September 17, 2020

The Curriculum Developer Spotlight series on our blog highlights the unique and talented educators that write the Codelicious curriculum. Keep reading to learn more about Stephanie’s background, expertise, and approach to computer science in the classroom.

“The parallels of learning a new spoken

language and learning a new coding

language are many.”

— Stephanie Bennett

Language learning has always been a part of my life. From a young age, I can remember feeling fascinated while looking at photos of my mother from the summer she spent studying and living in Germany. In elementary school, I studied her high school German textbooks, never getting much past “eins, zwei, drei” (one, two, three), but feeling enchanted. Later, in middle school, I had the opportunity to study American Sign Language, Spanish, and Chinese. In high school, I decided I would strive to become fluent in French. I stuck with it through college, eventually traveling for my own semester abroad.

[picture of my mother taken in Germany]
[picture of me in France]

At this point, I knew I was headed to a career as a language teacher. I was learning so much about language acquisition, the influence of language on culture, and the benefits of learning a new language. According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, there are measurable academic, cognitive, and social benefits to learning a new language:

After college, I spent eleven years in the classroom teaching both French and English as a New Language. In 2019, I began pursuing my master’s degree in Instructional Design. Along the way, I also started picking up the beginning pieces of a new language: computer programming. Using several free, online resources, I tried my hand at Java, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It only left me thirsting for more. The parallels of learning a new spoken language and learning a new coding language are many. Just as spoken languages have their own syntax, grammar rules, and jargon, so do coding languages. Have you ever wondered how a for loop is different from a while loop? Are you curious about what a whimsical term like camelCasing means?

Just as I was completing my master’s degree and polishing my capstone project on blended learning environments, I found Codelicious. For me, a position as a Curriculum Development Specialist is a way to pursue two passions: curriculum and language learning via coding, because I believe that coding is the language of the future. As technology continues to intersect our everyday lives, students will need exposure to programming languages, computational thinking, and problem solving skills in order to stay competitive in the job markets of the future.

This is where Codelicious curriculum provides an opportunity to students by empowering any teacher to integrate computer science curriculum into their teaching. Where other learn-to-code websites fall short, Codelicious provides teachers with step-by-step instruction and a wide variety of supplemental materials like reference sheets and vocabulary review activities to help guide students through comprehensive, project-based computer science experiences.

I hope the curriculum and free resources that Codelicious provides help you engage your students in the language of the future.

Interested in test-driving our curriculum?

Explore our library of free eLearning lessons to introduce computer science concepts in your classroom. Each download comes with a step-by-step lesson plan and helpful instructional video!