Friday 5: K-12 coding

Key points:

K-12 coding can completely change learning for students, engaging reluctant learners and activating parts of the brain used for computational thinking, problem solving, and collaboration.

These durable skills are critical for students during their K-12 years, in college, and in the workforce. Let’s take a look at the latest in K-12 coding education:…Read More

What are the 5 Types of Digital Literacy?

Key points:

Digital literacy encompasses various skills essential for navigating the digital landscape and learning in the digital age effectively. From basic computer proficiency to critical thinking in evaluating online information, there are diverse types of digital literacy. Information literacy involves researching and discerning credible sources, while media literacy focuses on analyzing and interpreting digital media.

Communication skills in the digital realm and cybersecurity awareness are vital components. Additionally, coding and computational thinking represent advanced digital literacy for understanding and engaging with technology. Let’s explore the multifaceted nature of digital literacy, highlighting its diverse types crucial for success in the digital age.…Read More

What are the changes in education in 2024?

Key points:

The year 2024 promises significant changes in K-12 education, reflecting a dynamic evolution in teaching and learning methodologies. Anticipated shifts encompass personalized learning enhanced by adaptive technologies, the continued integration of hybrid learning models, and an intensified focus on digital literacy and coding education.

Education leaders, learning of new trends and changes via national K-12 tech innovation news, are embracing immersive technologies like augmented and virtual reality, ensuring classrooms are poised to become more interactive and engaging. Social-emotional learning gains prominence, recognizing the holistic development of students. Collaboration, project-based learning, and data analytics further contribute to a future-ready educational landscape.…Read More

Introducing Tynker Copilot – The First-Ever LLM-Powered Coding Companion for Young Coders

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Tynker, the leading game-based coding platform that has engaged over 100 million kids, proudly introduces “Tynker Copilot.” Leveraging the capabilities of Large Language Models (LLMs), Tynker Copilot empowers young innovators aged 6-12. It provides a seamless interface for these budding developers to transform their ideas into visual block code for apps and games. Additionally, when exploring existing projects, kids benefit from the tool’s ability to explain block code fragments, ensuring a deeper understanding. Tynker Copilot allows children to build confidence as they work with AI, laying a solid foundation for their future. With this launch, coding education takes a significant leap forward.

Large Language Models (LLMs) have excelled in text-based programming languages like Python and JavaScript. However, their application to visual block coding, the primary introduction to programming for many kids, had yet to be explored. Tynker is the first to bridge this gap. Our latest integration lets children quickly convert their ideas into block code, streamlining their initial coding experience.

Tynker introduction of the Copilot feature marks a significant industry milestone. Until now, the capabilities of LLMs have not been fully utilized for the younger age group. Tynker Copilot empowers children as young as 6 to input text commands like “Design a space-themed knock-knock joke” or “Teach me how to build a Fruit-ninja style game” and receive block code outputs with step-by-step instructions. Moreover, when debugging existing projects, students can submit block-code snippets and benefit from LLM-generated natural language explanations.…Read More

3 ways teachers can navigate the evolving field of computer science

As recently as a decade or two ago, technology education consisted of typing, learning to draft emails, or doing a little work in a spreadsheet. Learning those skills may have been relegated to a business information class or weekly trips to a computer lab. Today, most students are expected to learn to code, and most states have coding requirements—some starting as early as kindergarten.

That’s a significant change in less than a generation. Computer science is a rapidly advancing field; educators have to make those changes if they are going to prepare their students for the modern world. Trying to teach a subject that’s ever-changing might feel a little intimidating to some teachers, especially if they don’t have a background in the field. Fortunately, the skills students learn in computer science are evergreen, and many of the changes within the field are manageable for the educators involved.

Here are three keys to preparing to teach this dynamic subject without feeling like the ground is constantly shifting under your feet.…Read More

Codelicious Renames Itself Ellipsis Education to Reflect Curricula Beyond Coding

CARMEL, Ind. – Codelicious, a leader in computer science curriculum for K-12 education, has changed its name to Ellipsis Education in an effort to better represent the wide scope of its computer science offerings beyond coding.

“We’re excited to adopt a new name that more accurately reflects the breadth of computer science education,” said Dr. Whitney Dove, Vice President of Product at Ellipsis Education. “We chose Ellipsis because it evokes something in progress, something with momentum behind it, yet incomplete, just like computer science. It’s a field that’s ever-changing, and we’re proud to offer curricula that are also constantly evolving to reflect the industry and keep teachers abreast of the trends to ensure their students are prepared for a world that is also always in flux.”

Ellipsis Education’s mission is to remove barriers to teaching computer science. Regardless of their level of subject-matter experience, educators can use Ellipsis to effectively teach computer science. Ellipsis Education offers 13 full-year courses with detailed lesson plans, pacing guides, and standard maps. Every course includes four lesson types: unplugged, coding, digital citizenship, and STEM careers. Ellipsis also offers professional development workshops to encourage continuous learning.…Read More

How are ELLs, students with disabilities IDed for gifted and talented?

States with formal policies around gifted and talented programs tend to identify more English learners and students with disabilities for those programs, according to a new study from NWEA, a not-for-profit research and educational services organization serving K-12 students.

The study uses data from the 2017-2018 Civil Rights Data Collection, the Stanford Education Data Archive, and the researchers’ own coding of individual states’ policies toward gifted and talented education.

A number of key themes emerged:…Read More

Robotics plays a key role in early STEM education

While many think of high school students engaged in mechanical engineering or robotics competitions when they hear the word “robotics,” the subject naturally lends itself to learners of all ages—including very young students.

In this episode of Innovations in Education, hosted by Kevin Hogan, you’ll hear from Jason Innes, Director of Curriculum, Training and Product Management at KinderLab Robotics, Inc., discuss why robotics is an excellent way to introduce young learners to coding, computational thinking, and design principles.

…Read More

How robots and our school’s buddy program bring computer science to life

Coding and robots are both natural tools for encouraging collaboration in the classroom. At Sewickley Academy, we have taken that collaboration to the next level by having Grade 5 students step into mentoring roles for our kindergarteners who are just being introduced to computer science. Here’s how we did it.

From Reading to Robotics

Recently, our PreK through Grade 12 independent school has been working to include more computer science opportunities across all grade levels. These classes are a distinguishing factor of a Sewickley Academy education.…Read More

How robotic gamification helped my elementary students love STEM

Coding is a necessary skill in today’s world, but it is relatively challenging to master, especially for kids. Its complexity is not necessarily because it is incomprehensible, but because it is a new concept for most students. This is especially the case for students in inner-city schools where technology is inevitably scarce due to systemic factors beyond the students’ control.

With numerous programming languages available, it can take time to pick a starting point. Educators have found a solution to this problem: gamification. Platforms like CoderZ offer virtual programming services where children can learn code through games. These games make learning code both fun and engaging for kids.

Through the CoderZ Robotics curriculum, kids learn to create, manage, and communicate with cyber robots in a virtual setting by inputting code. Block code is used because it is easier for children to understand and execute instead of complex text-based code. Learning is more accessible because virtual robots do not require hardware, space, or other associated costs.…Read More

CoderZ Launches New Code Farm Coding and Robotics Course for Grades Four Through Six

DERRY, N.H. – When young students learn coding, they hone skills – such as computational thinking and collaboration – that enhance their success in school and future careers. CoderZ, an award-winning, cloud-based robotics and STEM platform, is helping educators introduce computer science in elementary and early middle school with its new Code Farm coding and robotics course for grades four through six.

Created for teachers and students with no prior experience in coding or robotics, Code Farm provides 45-60 hours of self-paced, gamified activities with real-time feedback and step-by-step instructions. The course offers a broad view of computer science education through a variety of lenses: engineering design, algorithms and coding, ethics and the social impact of technology, and more. The course is aligned with relevant standards frameworks, such as CSTA and NGSS, and includes extension opportunities for middle school classrooms.

Learners use the programming language Blockly to steer virtual robots through tasks such as collecting fruit, avoiding obstacles, and even planting a garden of their own design.…Read More