Coding curriculum is set to expand drastically in the Wellington Schools this fall.
Talks are underway to enlist the help of Technology Education and Literacy in Schools, or TEALS, a program started in 2009 by a Microsoft engineer that sends coding experts in to school districts to work with computer science and technology classrooms.
“Kids get to learn code but they also get to see what a coder’s job is actually like,” said district superintendent Ed Weber. “They get to see and hear about the various jobs you can get with those skills. We want to get that rolling by the start of next school year.”
An introductory coding course will be taught at both McCormick Middle and Wellington High School. That curriculum will come through Code.org, a nonprofit that aims to expand access to computer science in schools as well as for women and minorities who are underrepresented in the field.
Code.org is also behind the annual Hour of Code campaign, which began in 2013 as an attempt to introduce new students to computer science and make learning code seem less daunting.
McCormick principal Nathan Baxendale introduced the Hour of Code to students late last year.
He said the initiative was among many discussed during time spent at the Ohio Educational Technology Conference from Feb. 13 to 15.
“This new course will be a way for anyone to sort of start from scratch with their coding skills,” Baxendale told the board of education on Feb. 20. “We’re well equipped to do things like this as well as possibly adopting Google Platform.”
The Google Cloud Platform allows teachers to make presentations on a smart board in the classroom and send them home to students, which Baxendale said could help make up time lost to winter school closings.
“Getting certified Google instructors is a larger initiative,” Weber said. “It takes time for a teacher to earn those credentials but through a series of professional development courses we want to provide, we want to give them that chance. If a teacher completes the training, we want to give them 30 Chromebooks for their classroom.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.