Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Coding Across the Curriculum

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYOD

Sunday, June 23, 8:30–9:30 am
Location: 115A

Michael Davidson  
Explore a series of resources to help teachers teach coding throughout the curriculum. Learn about the project and get a chance to complete a project from the series.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: A Scratch account will be necessary for this session.
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Computer science and computational thinking
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
Innovative Designer
  • Students select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.
For Educators:
  • Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Purpose and Objectives: To give educators ideas of how coding can be taught throughout other curriculum areas and to give them aa chance to practice coding with Scratch so that they have some enough skills and confidence to return to their classrooms and teach their students what they've learned. A secondary purpose is to help make educators aware of some free resources available and how those resources could be used to make their lives easier while simultaneously giving their students access to more knowledge and skills.

Educational Challenge: Computational is quickly becoming a necessary skill that needs to be taught in schools, and is in fact becoming part of the curriculum in many countries. Many educators have not been taught how to code or to think computationally. Also, there are only so many hours in a day and adding more curriculum requirements means something else may get cut out. Educators need a way to seamlessly integrate coding throughout their curriculum.

Technology Intervention: I've created a series of YouTube videos that show how to use coding and computational thinking in a variety of other subject areas. The projects shared in the video are broken down into steps that are easy to follow and can be tweaked to create an infinite number of finished products. These videos using platforms such as Scratch, various robotics (Sphero, Dash and Dot, Ozobot, mBot, Edison robots, and others), Google Sheets & Forms as well as offline methods.

Models Employed: The videos use a flipped model of learning. Students or educators can view the videos at their own pace and complete the tasks. An educator may or may not be available as a sounding board for next steps. The videos are versatile in that they may be used in a variety of ways 1) Educators who want to learn how to code on their own time, 2) Educators who are not comfortable with coding but use the videos in the classroom by giving them to their students, 3) Educators who understand coding and want ideas of how to integrate coding into other areas and 4) Students who want to learn new skills on their own, or are looking for ways to show their learning in other areas.

Instructional Activities:
The videos will include the same structure (with variations as necessary):
1) A brief introduction of the ideas/concepts being shared.
2) A discussion of how those computation thinking ideas/concepts could be used in other curriculum areas.
3) A brief overview of the components of the computational thinking (usually this is specific blocks being used)
4) A demonstration of how to make a simple version of the idea/concept.
5) Debugging the simple version of the program
6) Some ideas to personalize the idea/concept.
7) Examples of the personalization idea/concept.

Evidence of Success: I've used several of these project videos with my own students. The majority of students are excited to get a chance to code in class, but are also excited about being able to use them in other areas. Every time I use the videos, I have children coming up to me with interesting add-ons or questions about how to do things that aren't in the videos. I've had many of these students use what they've learned in other areas of their learning. I've also had other educators share their successes with the videos with me both in person and on social media.


Surveys will be sent out to gauge the extent of knowledge that attendees have with respect to coding, scratch and computational thinking as well as how much they are using it in their classrooms and how much they are required to use it in their classrooms.

1) A discussion of what computational thinking is and attendees' understanding of it.
2) A brief introduction of the project, why it came about and how it came about.
3) A brief introduction to scratch (if necessary) for attendees who have no experience with it.
4) A chance to complete one of the projects - during this time I will be assisting any attendees who need help with the projects. They will be working on making a quiz in Scratch.
5) Sharing time - attendees will have time to share what they've made with each other, and to play each others' quizes.
6) A wrap up and debrief about how this concept could be used.

Supporting research

More [+]


Michael Davidson, Matua Ngaru School

Michael is a Google Certified Innovator and Trainer based in Auckland, New Zealand. He is currently a Lead Learning Coach in charge of STEAM at the newly opened (February 2019) Matua Ngaru School. Originally from Canada, he has also taught in South Korea, the United Kingdom and Tanzania.

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