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Advancing Your Computer Science Curriculum

Stacy Bogard

By Stacy Bogard, CAE, MASB Assistant Director of Communications, PR & Marketing

DashBoard, Nov. 27, 2019

Programming, coding, HTML, user interface, UX, software, the cloud—this is a very small sampling of the terms used when discussing computer science. Although nowhere near the scale it is today, it was even part of the curriculum when I was in elementary school in the 1980s (although what I remember most was playing Pong and Oregon Trail!). It’s amazing to fathom how much technology has advanced in the last 10 years let alone 30+.

So, what are we doing to keep up? The Michigan Computer Science Standards that were adopted by the State Board of Education in May 2019 took this continual advancement into consideration as well as recognizing that not all schools are able yet to offer computer science as part of their curriculum. Guidance is provided to develop students who are computational thinkers—able to use certain problem-solving skills in a variety of settings. The Standards also aim to establish more equity:

“In adopting the Computer Science Standards, the Michigan Department of Education and schools across the state are committing to Michigan learners that they will be provided equitable access to computer science opportunities regardless of where they live in the state, or the demographics of the schools they attend. The K12 CS Framework, a foundational document for Michigan’s Computer Science Standards, ‘provides a unifying vision to guide computer science from a subject for the fortunate few to an opportunity for all’ (p. 3).”

The Standards also connect educators with tools from a variety of resources, including an easy introduction to incorporating computer science in the classroom through the Hour of Code. This worldwide program is highlighted during Computer Science Education Week, which is being held this year from Dec. 9 – 15.

There are currently 81,839 events planned that week across more than 180 countries. For Michigan classrooms interested in getting involved, MDE shared the following resources from the Hour of Code website:

“Michigan schools are encouraged to participate in the Hour of Code/Computer Science Education Week. . .” noted a recent memo from MDE. “[It] is an excellent introduction, for both students and educators, to Michigan’s recently adopted K-12 Computer Science Standards. . .Computer science is not just vocational; it is foundational.”

Does your district plan to or already participate in the Hour of Code? We’d love to hear what you’re doing—please send an email to comms@masb.org to share your activities.

For more information on the Michigan K-12 Computer Science Standards, visit the MDE website.

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