Yesterday I spoke about CSUnplugged and the way it introduces Computer Science concepts physically at a young age, CS First does this in a similar way in middle school. Personally I think the AP Computer Science A exam is a bit unfair, it’s a test given that most likely students haven’t studied before, or if their lucky only for a few years formally in school. AP English, AP Histories, AP Almost anything else, students have been studying for a number of years, but Computer Science is tossed in there. The national push is to start younger and have students learning concepts at younger ages, see CSUnplugged – but everyone realizes that we can’t focus on elementary age students only, we need to catch up and fill in the gaps in grades 6-12 as well.
April 3rd – CS First
Google’s Computer Science First (CS First) is an introductory curriculum made for anyone to teach either in school, after school or part of a club. Google provides materials and the lesson plans, the school provides the person to guide the students and really help organize rather than teach. Major companies like Google and Microsoft realize that there is a huge gap in the workforce for programming related jobs. Right now if you are a great programmer, you are most likely hired by one of these companies to build the future, rather than work in a public school to teach the future. The pay scale difference is so great I can’t blame anyone for jumping right into the profession, and the major companies realize this. They also understand that they need good people to teach these skills so they’ll have better programmers in the future, quite the predicament.
CS First is a curriculum that anyone can teach that inspires students to explore and create with CS. Along with CSUnplugged, it doesn’t need a set of laptops, you can practice Pair Programming and students can work collaboratively like they would in their real coding jobs. CS First is free and I highly suggest checking it out, again going through all of these curriculums only improves your knowledge as well!