It’s actually quite embarrassing that I made it to April without talking about CSUnplugged. Having a passion for Computer Science, these guys have been doing it for a long time and have looked WAY outside the box to teach the concepts without even a computer in the room!
April 2nd – CSUnplugged
CSUnplugged was crafted so that “The activities do not depend on computers. This avoids confusing Computer Science with programming or learning application software, makes the activities available to those who aren’t able to or don’t want to work with computers, and skips the barrier of learning to program before being able to explore ideas.” (They said it so well I couldn’t pick quotes.) I say amen to that! We don’t expect 3rd graders to know what a TI-84 is, but do want them to know about a coordinate plane and everything you can do with it.
CSUnplugged has a large library of activities for anyone to use and print out – they allow anyone to dive into the concepts before applying them (in other curriculums) to the computer which is exactly what should be happening at an elementary school level.
Just like Scratch, many other curriculums have borrowed from the concepts and use some of their material outright… in other professions they’d sue, but CS we help – because we know the world can only be a better place when we work together.