The new NZC Digital Technologies Curriculum is coming into schools from 2018 and Computer Science and Programming are some of the Big Ideas covered in the new curriculum.
2017 is the third year that I have been teaching a Computer Science and Programming class with VLN Primary School and I have focused on these topic areas:
- What is a Computer?
- Data Representation
I have been trialling ways to teach this that are in alignment with the upcoming Curriculum and informed by my work as a Digital Technologies teacher of many years and the resources developed by the University of Canterbury.
From these approaches two clear pathways have evolved to meet current learner needs. The first is the Computer Science pathway, which is more of an Extension model suitable for years 7-8 with no prior knowledge. This pathway focuses on the theory underpinning how computers work. We use programming to support understanding of the key ideas. We would love to see more girls enrol in this class.
The second pathway is Programming and is suitable for learners from year 4 upwards. This is a gentler approach where learners are introduced to programming concepts and computational thinking through creating art, music, stories and games. We use Scratch, a programming language and environment especially developed for children by MIT.
We'd like to introduce these pathways for new Semester 2 enrolments and would love to have another eTeacher on board! This would be a great opportunity to test the water, involve your own learners and develop some online teaching skills along the way.
Please visit the VLNP Scratch Gallery to see examples of projects learners are working on.
If you'd like to learn more about teaching this exciting subject with us, please email VLNP. We look forward to hearing from you!