Google Visits SWFL School to Teach Kids How to Code

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/37333118/google-visits-swfl-school-to-teach-kids-how-to-code

Interesting article and news clip. According to the Google employee in the video, by 2020 there will be more than a million unfilled computer science jobs. Google is promoting computer science in elementary schools and middle schools in order to fill future needs. Although I have mixed feelings about introducing technology to children at a very young age, I do think it's important that students are exposed to computer science/coding. I wish my education had contained more of this. I used to work as a teacher assistant at an elementary school for gifted children. It surprised me that they only recently hired a technology teacher.

    • Jeff Magliola
      Jeff Magliola

      Interesting to see this posted. I started introducing CS-First last year to the 4th and 5th grade at my school. Most of the kids picked it up right away and enjoyed following the tutorials. The one thing that I'm worried about that I see is a growing trend where kids learn to follow instructions, but when you give them a blank screen and all the tools they need to make a program (like in CS-first) they have a bit of a problem "free designing" - if you've seen the first lego movie, that's what it was all about, following instructions vs being a free thinker.  

      We haven't gone below 4th grade with this just yet, but I've heard of other teachers who are pushing to start even in K with this. Not sure I'm on that bandwagon yet, I'd think it'd be better to focus on finger painting and the sand box that young! 

      • Sachin Rochlani
        Sachin Rochlani

        Hi Jeff. I agree with you that children are becoming dependent on directions and have a difficult time using their creativity and imagination. I was talking about the differences between education in America and Scandinavia recently with a teacher in Copenhagen. She was shocked when I told her the superintendent walked into a school I was working in a few years ago and told the kindergarten teachers that they need to do less cutting and gluing and focus more on academics. This teacher explained that in Denmark they allow children to be children. By allowing them to participate in tasks requiring them to use their creativity and imagination (art) and encouraging things like role playing, students develop their personalities. I agree with you that the trend here is that students are learning only to follow instructions, which is scary. Finger painting and sandbox in K is already out!

      Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2018

      Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2018

      Here is the online home for CS for Teachers.