Don't Just Add Computer Science to Your Day; Integrate It with What You're Already Teaching - Ellipsis Education

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Don’t Just Add Computer Science to Your Day; Integrate It with What You’re Already Teaching

August 20, 2020

We know this school year is going to look a little different. Whether you are back in the classroom, pursuing a blended learning strategy, or going completely remote with eLearning, adding computer science curriculum may seem like one more thing on your already full plate.

Even with the time crunch teachers face during the school day, schools and districts across the nation are taking computer science implementation very seriously. It doesn’t have to be stressful; there are many ways to incorporate computer science education into your existing schedule.

Keep reading for three ways to integrate computer science into your school day.

Use technology as more than just a tool

In an age where students have grown up with iPads and laptops, technology is no longer just a means to an end. There are many opportunities to cross core competencies with STEM education, because technology is everywhere! Teaching computer science alongside everyday subjects, like science, math, english, and social studies, is a natural fit.

According to this study about technology applications in teacher education, technology in the classroom should:

  1. Extend learning beyond what could be done without technology.
  2. Introduce technology in context.
  3. Include opportunities for students to study relationships among science, technology, and society.
  4. Foster the development of the skills, knowledge, and participation as good digital citizens.
  5. Contribute to the research and evaluation of technology use.

At Codelicious, we know that computer science is more than just coding; it’s also the application of technology to real life. Our curriculum incorporates technology in context with the Core Pillars of Codelicious Curriculum. For example, our Digital Citizenship and STEM career activities give students exposure to potential jobs and help them navigate the digital world.

Streamline prep time for curriculum implementation

Designing a new computer science curriculum takes a lot of research, resources, and time; time that your teachers don’t have. Many teachers we’ve talked to have had to piece together their own curriculum, using worksheets and activities from across the internet. That’s why our second time-saving tip is to streamline the prep time for new curriculum implementation!

One way to do this is to use curriculum with materials that are easily accessible for both teachers and students. Codelicious curriculum includes all of the resources your teachers need to teach, from materials lists to video links. Codelicious courses also include formative and summative assessments, so teachers can easily measure student progress.

Another way to streamline prep time is making sure teachers are prepared to teach the new curriculum from the start. According to this study by OECD, many teachers still feel ill-prepared to use technology during their lessons. Only 56% of teachers state they have received training in Information Communication Technology (ICT), and only 43% felt well prepared to use ICT in the classroom. 

These statistics drive home the importance of good professional development and support. At Codelicious, we offer product and platform training prior to implementation, so teachers feel prepared and comfortable with the material. In fact, our professional development was recognized as a CSTA Quality PD opportunity! Our customer experience team also offers continuous support throughout the school year in case teachers have additional questions. 

Integrate computer science education into existing curriculum 

Finally, the tip that saves the most time for teachers – integrated curriculum design. Fully integrating computer science into other subjects takes a lot of work, but you can start small.
Interdisciplinary integration organizes different school subjects (like English, science, math, and social studies) around foundational skills for students (like the four C’s of 21st century learners). The idea is that all the lessons from the core subjects reinforce a common theme, while also aligning with educational standards. Here is an example from ASCD:

For example, take Collin Yust, a third grade math and social studies teacher. He wanted to reinforce computational thinking skills by incorporating computer science into his teaching block. He used Codelicious Programming 101 lessons paired with math curriculum to teach his students about coordinate planes. 

“It’s a great motivator for kids to stay on task with math and other core subjects,” he said in an interview with Tech & Learning. “The kids get fired up because they can see the connections.” Watch the video below to hear more about Mr. Yust’s experience with Codelicious:

Try a Free Computer Science Lesson!

Try a free lesson from our Programming 101 course to help save time in your classroom. This lesson covers coordinate planes, which relates to math standards. Download the lesson plan and a helpful instructional video below.

Additional Time-Saving Sources: