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Getting Started with Coding in the Classroom

May 30, 2022

Computer coding has long been seen as a valuable skill for students. But teachers are often stumped on where to begin. From which coding language to start with to first activities to transitioning students to more complex programs, teachers are seeking a roadmap for teaching coding.

KCI Instructor Sheena Vaidyanthan recently wrote an article for EdSurge (“Teaching Coding to Kids: What Programming Language Should We Use?”) that answers educators’ most pressing questions about teaching coding in the class. Vaidyanthan, a computer science integration specialist at Los Altos School District in California, offers her knowledge on best practices and tips and tricks for teachers who want to get started with coding.

“At the Foothill College KCI, I offer teachers both Scratch and Python and show the same project in both languages,” Vaidyanthan states. “They love seeing the parallels between the two types of languages, and even more if we first start with “pseudocode” or a flowchart—a way to write down the algorithm before writing any code. Here’s what a small project that involves checking a password looks like as a flowchart, in Scratch, and in Python.”

Vaidyanthan, along with fellow KCI instructor Christopher Bell, will be hosting a series of workshops this August for educators interested in a computer science crash course. The Computer Science Crash Course will help educators gain computer science content knowledge and strengthen participants’ programming skills. This differentiated series uses a variety of leveled activities and coding challenge sets to encourage K-12 educators to advance their own learning.

For more information or to register, please visit here.

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