This June the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education formally adopted new Digital Literacy and Computer Science Curriculum Frameworks. A good portion of the digital literacy frameworks overlap with the literacy standards regarding research, analysis of information, collaboration and presentations. These standards place added emphasis on these skills and the tech tools needed to meet them. What is significantly different is the much needed addition of computer science; computing and society, digital tools and collaboration, computing systems and, computational thinking. These have not been a part of the general k-12 curriculum in the past and it will take some creative planning to work these standards into an already full learning day. The goal is that these frameworks should be integrated in the core subjects and not stand alone classes, though at the high school level subject specific classes should also be added as learning options.
I have had fun exploring a variety of tools and websites geared toward K-5 students. We already use the code.org curriculum courses 1-3 but have been seeking out short, quick side trips into the world of computer science to provide to teachers who are not computer science aficionados. Here are a few of the resources I have been exploring.
- Made with Code, a Google Project, is directed at young girls to expose them to the world of coding.
- Google also has free resources for teachers and clubs at CS-First.
- Code.org has many options at Code Studio.
- Computer Science Unplugged has a large number of activities for computational thinking that do not require the use of a computer.
- Mozilla has mini project to learn HTML at Thimble.
- Scratch has a wide variety of options for learning basic coding principles.
Other resources? Please add them to the comments below.