Computer Science in a K-12 School

April 16, 2007 on 7:21 am | In education, technology | No Comments

I’ve been thinking about our technology in preparation for a Parent Association meeting, and I figured this would be a good opportunity to start writing here again. As I began this process, I had to admit that I’m not as involved in the Lower School curriculum as I would like to be and, frankly, ought to be. On the other hand, I’ve focused a lot on bringing Smartboards into the LS classrooms because I really think that’s where they are used in the most creative and constructivist ways.

In the LS, computer work is lab and classroom-centered. Instruction is a mix of skills training and content-related project work. Students learn word processing to practice writing skills and keyboarding and as a way to publish their poetry, stories, and reports. They use programs like MediaBlender, KidPix, Neighborhood Mapmaker Timeliner, Graph Club, and Inspiration to create projects and presentations in Social Studies and Science. MS Excel and programs such as MathBlaster help students explore concepts in Math. I have had little involvement in the development of these units; the curriculum was mostly in place when I arrived, and it seems to be working well.

The key now is to look at the entire K-12 Computer Science curriculum as a whole. We are currently in the process of mapping curricula here, so that should help the department examine what we are doing across the three divisions. There is already a great deal of dialog and coordination between the Middle and Upper Schools, but that needs to be carried into the lower grades as well.

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