Computer Science Education Week: December 5 – 11

We challenge you to an Hour of Code!

It’s time for an Hour of Code! What is an Hour of Code? It’s a one-hour introduction to computer science where anyone can learn the basics. Check out the Hour of Code website at http://hourofcode.org/.

As we have done in past years, there is a prize category for Idaho Digital Learning staff. When you complete your hour, print the certificate of completion and give a copy to me or send me a digital copy. Your name will be added to the internal drawing for a $50 Amazon card.

If family is interested in participating they can enter the drawing here.

Every Idaho student, teacher, parent, and others who completes an “Hour of Code” through Code.org may enter into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon gift card or an iPad mini! There will be four (4) gift card winners chosen across four categories; PreK-5th grade, 6th-8th grade, 9th-12th grade and Adult category (Administrator, Teacher or Parent) and one (1) grand prize winner of an iPad Mini chosen from all categories. Enter to win HERE.

As you participate & complete the Hour of Code let everyone know by using: #hourofcodeID

Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think. – Steve Jobs

Idaho Digital Learning goes to Washington DC

Dr. Cheryl Charlton and Dr. Sherawn Reberry take the podium at the White House
Dr. Cheryl Charlton and Dr. Sherawn Reberry take the podium at the White House

Idaho Digital Learning was invited to the Professional Learning Partner event with Code.org in Washington, DC because of the impact the organization is beginning to have on the implementation of computer science. Dr. Sherawn Reberry was invited to sit on a panel during the White House visit to discuss the regional implementation of computer science. Dr. Reberry takes a moment to answer a few questions about the event.

What did you do at the event?

We were able to listen to industry, government and education officials discuss computer science and the acceptance of computer science as foundational concepts for all content areas. We had the privilege of also meeting with Congressman Mike Simpson’s Education Liaison Solara Linehan. We were able to share the collaborative work being completed in Idaho around computer science.

Why was Idaho Digital Learning selected to attend?

Idaho Digital Learning is the Code.org Professional Learning Partner for the State of Idaho. We have been involved in collaboration and partnership with Code.org for the past three years. Idaho was the first state wide partnership for implementation.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about other Code.org programs?

Rural areas are prevalent throughout the United States. Other Professional Partners are working to design programs such as ours and there are opportunities to collaborate and share resources. We were excited to hear that Idaho was the first state to implement a hybrid model of delivering portions of this professional development for teachers and online courses for students. We are excited that we are working in partnership with Code.org to increase these offerings.

How do you feel this will benefit computer science in our state and nationally?

Code.org is sharing with Idaho and the nation the importance of students having a computer science background. Just as students understand the importance of chlorophyll to plant life, it’s just as important for students to understand how computers work. These different efforts are assisting in the understanding of the importance of computer science as a foundational course. Computer Science concepts can be integrated directly with current curriculum.   

Are there any fun facts you want to share?

Computer Science is officially accepted as part of STEM.

Is there anything else you want to tell the Idaho education community about this experience?

It takes all of us to move forward. Computer Science fundamentals is important for a 21st Century Education. Partnerships are important — work together in collaboration so that our students are the beneficiaries of the outcomes, ultimately creating a pipeline so that Idaho’s pipeline is aligned from K – 12 education to post-secondary education to industry.