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Coding Across the Curriculum

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Participate and share : Poster

Michael Davidson  
Explore a series of resources to help teachers teach coding throughout the curriculum. Learn about the project and get links to all available resources.

Audience: Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Access to YouTube videos is necessry
Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.
For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.

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.

Supporting research

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Michael Davidson, Matua Ngaru School

A Canadian living and teaching in New Zealand, Michael is a Google Certified Innovator and has been a Coach and Mentor to other Innovators. Also a Google Certified Trainer, he works at the recently opened Matua Ngaru School in Auckland teaching STEAM to every learner.

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