In September 2013, BIGfish client Beaver Country Day School, Chestnut Hill’s independent school for grades 6-12, became the first school in the U.S. to implement computer programming into all of its classes. After presenting their plans for a coded curriculum at SXSWedu last year, Beaver is now in the running to share the results of its pilot program at the 2015 conference.
The four-day SXSWedu event features presentations from educators nationwide who are committed to engaging learners with modern tools and content. Votes from the general public are a large factor in determining programming, so Beaver needs your help! Click here to vote for Beaver’s “The Coded Curriculum: A Year in Review” proposal now!
According to Code.org, 1 million of the best jobs in the United States may go unfilled because only 1 in 10 schools teach students how to code. Our society’s insatiable hunger for everything digital can only be satisfied by computer scientists, yet we don’t have enough of them.
Acknowledging this problem and realizing that coding skills would lead to incredible opportunities for their students, Beaver Country Day School’s faculty and staff integrated coding into its core curriculum so that every Beaver graduate would know how to code. Teachers incorporated coding concepts into classes such as math, science and art and emphasized creative problem solving rather than language syntax. With this approach, Beaver students were able to learn programming skills without needing to hire new, specialized teachers or adjust students’ schedules to make room for additional classes.
A Year In Review
Beaver has discovered that a coded curriculum enhances critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration skills by encouraging students to think creatively. With a year of valuable experience under their belts, teachers at Beaver are now prepared to share the insights and challenges they faced, explore ways that this teaching style can be further developed and discuss how to measure the success of a coded curriculum in order to properly prepare students for the 21st century workplace.
You can vote for Beaver to present at SXSWedu through September 5 by logging into the SXSW PanelPicker and giving Beaver’s “The Coded Curriculum: A Year in Review” proposal a thumbs up! Beaver wants to use the national platform of SXSWedu to help teachers and schools implement their own successful coding programs. Beaver Country Day School and BIGfish appreciate your support in Beaver’s quest to present at SXSWedu. We’ll keep you posted when SXSW makes their decisions!
Check out this video to learn more about Beaver’s first year with a coded curriculum.