What's All the Fuss About Coding?
If you think about it, schools have been working with code for a while. Consider Webster's definition of the word, code: "a system of symbols (such as letters or numbers) used to represent assigned and often secret meanings." Consider what your child is learning in language arts...or in math. There's coding...and decoding involved. So is this new "coding" something different? You bet! Read a little further in Webster's list of definitions for code and you'll see this: "instructions for a computer (as within a piece of software)." Quite frankly, we want our students to be able to give instructions to computers and other devices. And we believe the creative problem-solving they experience in doing so will pay off in other areas. (Need ten reasons to teach coding? Read them here.)
Phenix City Schools' Coding Progression
Excellent career possibilities exist for students who choose Information Technology as a Career Tech pathway. Upon graduation from Central High School, these students may be eligible for entry-level programming positions with the successful completion of an elective course co-written in partnership with TSYS. To prepare these students for coding languages and topics predominant in the industry, we start early! Our youngest students program robots and then go on to learn block programming languages in Creative Learning SmartLabs at each elementary school. In the Dyer Family STEM Center, all sixth-grade students further their progamming knowledge with robotics and visual programming and then transition to scripted coding in seventh grade. And seventh graders now have drone technology in the coding lab! At South Girard, the Computer Science Discoveries course expooses eighth graders to HTML and CSS for the first time. Because of this progression, Central Freshman Academy students who choose Information Technology as a Career Tech pathway will have a foundation for learning advanced programming lanuages such as JacaScript, Alice, Java, and Python.