What’s It Like? Google CS First is an online platform for creating, managing, and teaching a middle school computer science (CS) program. There are currently 72 programming explorations and lessons across nine domains (such as arts, gaming, sports, storytelling, and social media). Each lesson is ready to go out of the box and includes a minute-by-minute teacher script, student instructions, example projects, materials (with solution guides), and more. The site also features comprehensive help guides for everything from setting up and maintaining a club to tips for classroom management and discipline issues.
Pros: Fantastic lesson plans, turnkey resources, and club-organization tools make it easy to build a great CS program with little work or prior experience.
Cons: Lessons still rely heavily on watching a video and replicating procedures rather than exploring, plus some tricky setup is required.
Bottom line: If your middle school doesn’t have a CS program, now you do! It’s really that easy, and available content will only grow as time goes on.